I went searching for a little boy yesterday. He was autistic and had wandered off after taking a tumbling class in the neighborhood. I had even seen him as I was picking up my own daughter, but I assumed he lived nearby.
When I got home and heard he was missing I rushed my kids back into the car and started looking. I drove with teary eyes and a prayer in my heart, hoping someone would find that little boy before it got much darker. My neighbor, shortly after, flagged me down to tell me he had been found. He had walked about 6 blocks and was just standing on the sidewalk crying.
I also lost a little boy once–just last year. He and his older brother had come over to play with my kids. As the mom left she didn’t click my gate shut and I didn’t think to do it either. The 3 year old was playing in my sandbox on the side of my house. The rest of the kids were playing on or around our trampoline just behind the house, not far away-it’s a small yard.
I ran inside to get a camera and was watching the kids jump for just a couple minutes. The 3 year old was probably only a foot or two out of my view. I went to check on him and he was gone, the gate pulled open. I ran to the front yard, then to his yard next door. I still couldn’t find him. I told his mom. She was much more calm than I was, but visibly panicked and went to find him. I started calling neighbors to help.
After what was a 15 minute eternity– she found him! He had gone on an adventure–wandering down the street about a block, then turned the corner and just kept happily walking.
When it was over, I felt so grateful, but terrible. I had been careless. The mom was very gracious about the whole thing. I stopped having play dates with 3 year old boys.
I know things like this happen too much and don’t always end so happily. Yesterday, once again, reminded me I need to be more aware of children in my neighborhood and continue to keep a close eye on my own. Everyone got extra hugs at my house last night, except for my 2 year old, who pushed my hugs away then head butted me.
On a lighter, but still serious note, a single red crayon besieged a load of my clothes yesterday–the laundry may be ruined, but the crayon held up rather well I think.