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Sunday, February 6, 2011

panic

there were so many titles I could have chosen for this post but just thinking about it made the knots in my stomach come racing back. I'd much rather forget the events of yesterday but I feel like the right thing to do is to get my thoughts written down so maybe I'll stop replaying those awful five minutes over and over again in my mind.

It probably wasn't even a five minute ordeal, but at the time it felt like five thousand minutes. Whatever the length of time....all I know is that Sam was gone and I couldn't find him. He's six I kept saying over and over again. HE KNOW NOT TO JUST WALK OFF. In the crowded Mall of America my son had vanished. My friend started looking for him while I raced to the nearest vendor to ask them to call security. Her phone didn't work. I raced to the next place and went straight to the front of the line to explain what had happened. The guy finished helping the person who was waiting for his change. It felt like a year passed when someone else stepped up to call security. I told them where i'd be and continued to search the area. All I wanted to do was to grab people by the arm and scream "my son is six. He's missing. He's wearing a navy and red striped shirt". HELP!!

I have never been so scared in.my.entire.life. I thought the worst since he's old enough to know to stay where I can see him. I begged God to bring him back. I thought i'd never see him again. He was NOWHERE to be found in the immediate area. There are so many crazy people in the world and in my mind half of them were at the mall. (If you are local and familiar with the amusement park, picture 45 minute waits for the bounce house pinnapple kind of busy) It was BUSY! And my baby was gone. I wanted them to drop the (non existant) gates so nobody could get away with my Sam.

And then I saw him with my friend who, bless her heart, would not let him let go of her hand even though he wanted to. I would have done the same thing J! I ran up to him sobbing, not caring that I was making a scene. He was back. Thank you Jesus he was back in my arms and wondering what all the fuss was about. "You are the wierest person ever" were his words I think....I let the insult slide and went back to find security who was finally made an appreance. I thanked them for coming and explained that he had walked off when he saw his friends come out of the bounce house. Turns out he was with another friend of mine the whole time.

He said he forgot to tell me where he was going. I pray that he never ever does that again! This mama might not survive another panic attach like that!


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Besides the obvious, don't walk off without telling a grown up where you are going rule, what safety measures do you take when in crowded public places?????

One thing that I have done at the state fair is to tell the kids to find someone in a uniform or another mom and show them the card I put in their pockets with all my contact information on it. We're working on memorizing phone numbers but when put on the spot, I want them to have it written down just in case.

12 comments:

  1. I knew where you were yesterday after seeing a certain head full of curls in a picture on another blog, so the second I read the title of your post, I knew what must have happened.

    Yes, I have been there. We once closed down the FAO Shwarz in Orlando when my oldest, who was 5 at the time, vanished. She was playing inside a playhouse shaped like a giant apple, and never even knew she was lost. We couldn't find her after getting off the teacup ride at Disney. She had made her way back and was sitting patiently in the stroller waiting for us.

    And you already know Luke left our condo at the beach all by himself last summer. It is beyond terrifying when your kids are lost!

    I try not to go anywhere with Luke unless he can be restrained in a stroller or cart.

    I always told my older girls to find a store employee, a security guard or another mom.

    I'm so glad you found him!!

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  2. That is the scariest feeling in the world. My son who was two at the time vanished when I turned my back for a second at a splash pad. he is quick. He ran to another section and fell down. Another mom brought him back to me. I felt like the worst mom either.

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  3. So glad you found him. Angels were guarding him! So scary!

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  4. oh my gosh.. i could not imagine.. I am so glad he is safe and in your arms and with you :)

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  5. Glad it all turned out okay and I'm sure it was the worst 5 minutes of your life. So Sorry.

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  6. oh no! That would cause me to panic too! So glad he is safe! We've never been there but the kids would love it. Maybe one day we'll meet there. :)

    britt

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  7. So scary!
    One thing we do..my kids are still small.....just starting to remember things. But I keep my camera with me when we go in big places like malls and amusement parks, fairs, etc. I take a picture of them before we started with the festivities..because I know for sure I will be too spazzed to even remember what they are wearing.

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  8. It's a terrifying feeling, I know ... it's happened twice in our family (different kids), and each time I thought the floor was going to drop out from under me.

    Putting a card with contact information in their pockets is a very good idea. We also pick a family meeting place, and tell the children if they get lost to go there and wait for us. This is usually a large, visible landmark (the giant slide at the state fair, the t-rex skeleton at the Natural History Museum).

    I'm glad your guy was found quickly, and found to have been safe all along, and hope your adrenaline has stopped pumping!

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  9. Such heart pounding panic, been there my friend! So glad he is okay, that he is safe and you can snuggle him up nice and close.

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  10. I would have died on the spot! My son did that in Sears when he was little and that was bad enough. We looked for him for about 15 min. But MALL OF AMERICA????? That makes my heart stop! I'm so glad it ended well. (His words to you cracked me up.)

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  11. I almost threw up reading this. Of course I knew he was fine because otherwise you wouldn't be blogging...or not that way...or something.

    But I almost threw up because I know how that feels.

    I am so sorry you had to go through that.

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  12. I remember when my oldest was 5 we were visiting a friend at the hospital (a very large 16 floor hospital). When we were done his wife was walking us the elevators and while I was hugging her goodbye the doors opened and Hayden hopped in but we couldn't to it before the doors closed. I literally stopped breathing but tried not to panic.

    On the way up to visit them he asked what seemed like a hundred times what floor we were going to and that's what he remembered when he got to the bottom by himself. Two ladies made sure he didn't get off and brought him back up to me. I still shiver when I think what could have happened. It is a split second so I know how you feel.

    I'm so glad your son was alright and you were reunited quickly.

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