Monday, November 28, 2011

Lost Boy

In the last month, I've lost Seth not once, but twice.  The first time was at a soccer game.  He and Eli were playing at the playground 20 feet away, and I was watching them, really, I was.  But the next thing I knew, Eli came over saying "you have Seth right, Mom?"  "Uh, NO!"  I went running around like a crazy woman, waddle running (still being great with child) across the soccer fields searching for my lost boy, only to find him on the complete opposite side of the soccer field in the arms of a strange man.  The couple who found him could harldly keep from scolding me.  And rightly so, probably, even though Seth wasn't even crying and didn't even reach for me when we were reunited.  I left in tears, an emotional wreck, wondering what I was thinking, about to bring another child into the world.  Another child for me to lose.  Granted, pregnancy hormones and physical exhaustion contributed, I'm sure, to my little cry fit, but I felt for the first time, like a real unfit mother.  Ben reassured me when I got home.  I appoligised to Eli for getting upset with him when it was purely my fault, not his, and went to take a hot shower.  I committed to be a better mother, a better supervisor of my children.

Then, it happened again!  Now let me just say, that before these two little episodes, I have NEVER really lost a child before.  Not for real anyway.  Back to the story: Last week we were at the mall with our friends who were in town visiting.  After a lovely dinner at Fresh Choice, we took our 9 kids to the mall to visit Santa.  We took a leisurely stroll through the upper floor of the mall, hopped on the elevator, got in line to see the big ol' guy, contemplated purchasing photos while several of the kids had a turn on Santa's lap when all of a sudden, I realized I'd lost Seth again.  I shouted to Ben on the other side of the Santa display.  Nope, he didn't have him either.  Us four adults, and Meilani and Eli, started scrambling, looking around for our little wanderer.  He's no where in sight.  I called for security, Ben and our friend David searched the mall.  Eventually we found the little punk in the Security office.  Apparently he didn't quite make it on the elevator with us when we went downstairs.  A little old lady had turned him in.  Oh the humiliation.  Fortunately, this time, I didn't feel the sense of panic I did at the soccer field.  Even Ben stayed pretty calm which is a darn near "Christmas Miracle."  I think we both felt a strange reassuring peace knowing we'd find him.  The picture above is taken at the apple store after finding said lost boy.  He got a little sticker from the security officer who said that they frequently have to find lost children, but not usually lost parents.  I felt so dumb.  This time though, I realized that it's not me, it's Seth!  My little social butterfly needs a locking harness or a leash (yes the kind I swore I'd never use).  I really wish he were afraid of strangers. 

On Thanksgiving at my in-laws, Sethie brought me a "book-uh" to read.  It was about boy who got lost at the mall.  True story!  So if they write children's books about kids getting lost, then it must surely be an epidemic.  I'm obviously not the only one with this problem, right?  I'm trying to make myself feel better here.  Maybe I don't have too many kids after all?  Maybe. 


Stephanie said...

I feel your sense of panic...those 2 stories made me have panic attacks. I'm sure you handled it better than I would have! He probably won't even remember it, right? :)

Katie said...

I lost Aidan at a store when he was two and I felt horrible about it! I thought you might like to read what I wrote and feel a little happens to all of's what I wrote at the time:
Yesterday I took the kids with me to Fresh Market where they were having a lot of awesome sales. They had helium balloons everywhere for the kids so each of mine had one tied to their wrists. At the checkout, I lost sight of Aidan for a second (he refuses to sit in the cart...because, you know...he's two and has a mind of his own). Then I saw this little red balloon bobbing on the other side of the checkout and made a comment to the cashier about how it helps that I can just look for that little balloon and find him. She laughed and said, "that's true, it does help." Then I looked down to slide my card and put in my pin and saw the receipt printing out. Then I looked up for Aidan and the red balloon...and he was gone! I did a 360 degree turn and nothing! I started getting nervous because the doors were right by the registers which open automatically. I ran outside real quick to make sure that he wasn't about to get hit by a car. Then I called his name and couldn't see him, so I ran back in the store and asked the cashier to page over the store for everyone to help look for a little boy with a red balloon. She did, so I ran back outside to double check that he wasn't out there anywhere. I still couldn't see him, and when I called his name I didn't hear anything in return. I ran back in the store and asked if they'd found him yet. She said, "No." That's when my heart really started pounding...all the worst-case scenarios for a mom started to quickly go through my head like, "maybe he really is outside, and I can't find him and he's going to get hit by a car unless I do! And, what if someone took him!" I was praying so hard that I would find him. I was about 30 seconds away from calling the police when an employee at the store said she thought she'd heard something about the pharmacy and pointed the way. I started jogging that way when I saw a group of about 10 employees headed my way...and a little boy with a red balloon. I almost cried. Aidan just looked up at me and said, "Hi Mom" not afraid at all. This kid has no stranger anxiety. Aidan came up to me and gave me a hug and then looked at the people who helped find him and pointed to my shoulder and nodded his head and said, "Mom." I'm guessing they asked Aidan where his Mom was, and he was telling them, this is Mom. Oh, that scared me so bad. He's just so little and it was sooooo scary to have lost him even for that short time. I'm so glad he's safe!

Britty said...

I lose Lucy just about every time I go somewhere, so don't feel bad. :)

Beth's Blue Blog said...

I believe in guardian angels! :) And you are NOT dumb!