Monday, November 28, 2011
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.