Have you ever lost your child?

22 Aug

We pride ourselves on protecting our kids; helicopter parents take this task to heart.  Imagine for a brief moment, my terror at losing my one and half year old.  Have you ever lost your child? Even though this event occurred over 16 years ago, I still recall the panic stricken feeling, the increased blood pressure, the quickening of my heart and the sweat rolling around every crease in my body.

hide and seek with mom and baby

We lived on a remote island in the Atlantic as part of our Air Force tour.  Military housing was set up like fourplex apartments overlooking the beautiful ocean.  Each side of the “house” had two families sharing one common yard enclosed with a stucco fence.  As luck would have it, we were ground floor and pretty much had the yard to ourselves.

Beloved had been walking for a few months and often spent time playing alone in her bedroom, toddling back and forth to the kitchen to show me her toys. The house was small so she could safely play within earshot; privacy and quiet were unobtainable.  I was busy doing laundry and stopped to take a much needed bathroom break.  Quick peek at Beloved before retiring to the little wrangler’s room to take care of business; door open.  I exit the bathroom and head over for a quick check on the kid.  She’s gone.

I look in all of the usual suspects…under crib…nope…in closet…nope…inside toy box…nope….kitchen, living room, bedroom, laundry room…oh my God!  I checked 800 square feet inch by inch and she’s nowhere to be found.  In my panic, I actually unlocked the front door and ran out front.  This seemed sensible considering the moment of insanity I was feeling; forget that Beloved was so petite she couldn’t even reach the doorknob let alone open it.  I ran back inside to call Just Plane Dad and the security officers [no 911 on the island] when I catch a wisp of blonde hair out of the corner of my eye.

There, in the middle of our backyard, cozied up to the dog and smiling in the sunshine, sits my girl.  Somehow the little snip had passed me as I sat hostage on the toilet and decided to join her partner in crime, our large Husky, out back.  To accomplish this feat, she had to climb up on the couch, which rested against a large wall of windows, push out the window screen and crawl through.  The drop outside of the window was just slightly lower than her height so she must have scaled it with ease.  Who knew our little daredevil could climb like Sir Edmund Hillary Spiderman?

To this day, I have no doubt that she was aided and abetted by our dog that thoroughly enjoyed her company. How she pushed the screen out we’ll never know but it still makes for a great story.  Beloved enjoys each time we tell this story and has no recollection except through our memories.  On the day of the incident, forever known as WindowGate, when I found her out back, she simply smiled and pointed to our dog while saying his name.  I’m not sure if she was proud of her newly found speech skills or implicating him in her escape.  Either way, he took her secret to the grave.

Mom wondering where her kid is, lost child

Clearly she wasn’t ever in danger but it scared me to the core.  I often think of those parents that truly have a child go missing and never know.  My heart goes out to them.

Have you ever lost your child?  Where we they hiding?

Hovering high and low, Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

8 Responses to “Have you ever lost your child?”

  1. Sara August 6, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    Normally, my almost 4 yr old sits in the shopping cart while I shop. However, this day we had my teenage stepdaughter with us so he was proudly walking next to her, behind me, as we walked through the aisles. As we waited in line for self-checkout he snuck over to the teddy graham bin but I caught him and he came back next to me. Then as I said excuse me to the people blocking my way to the open register, I assumed him and stepdaughter followed. As I reached in the cart to scan the first item, I turned around & did see my son. I asked daughter where he was & she didn’t know. WHAT??? Where could he go? I literally went in a small circle by the teddy graham bin probably 5 or 6 times before I realized he wasn’t there. I then told the self-checkout helping cashier that I lost my son & proceeded to literally run down the 5 aisles nearest us screaming my sons name with wild eyes. I started thinking the worst things about kidnapping & child sacrifices & sex trafficking & then I just stopped in my tracks & remembered I have a big God. So I prayed for him to come back safely & went back to the register where stepdaughter was waiting & there was my son, crying. He wanted to put a quarter in the machine to get a little toy & just decided to walk on over without asking me or his sister to go with him. Scariest moment of my life. Thank GOD he wasn’t taken; it’s a really busy store. What a relief when we finally find them, but what a scary few minutes until we do…

  2. Life With Teens June 30, 2015 at 7:21 am #

    When my son was under-3, he created SIX code Adams in Target and Walmart, in a 3-month period. Following that time in our lives, when he thought it was HILARIOUS to run away from Mom, laughing hysterically, and hide under the clothing racks, I refused to shop with him. For the next two years, I only did my grocery and other shopping at our 24 hour Walmart, at 2 in the morning, while hubs and the kids slept. (My ex worked 60+ hours a week at the time, so it was the only practical time I could go.)Scary? You betcha. And you never lose the memory of that anxiety. Glad you had a happy ending, too!

  3. Anne Campbell February 26, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    Moments like this are so frightening. I’ve had something similar happen with each of my kids. I think it’s just par for the course, but it’s a horrible feeling.
    Anne Campbell just posted…The Mineral BookMy Profile

  4. Adelien Tan March 13, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    I have ever lost my youngest child in a mall. He was playing in a gadget’s counter with his brothers while we were in the bookstore next door. He always plays at the same place as we always go to the same bookstore. His brothers left him and he lost his way. It was lucky that the security guard found him. Since then, the older brothers never left him anymore and he has been more cautious. I know how it feels. Thank you for sharing in Pintastic Pinteresting Party.
    Adelien Tan just posted…Is It The Time To Get Burnt Out With Your Homeschooling?My Profile

  5. Tanya March 4, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    Holy moly, that is both scary and incredibly sweet! To have such a close bond with her doggie. We had two Westies and they were incredibly sweet to our 3 boys who loved them hard, they were small enough that the kids tried to sit on and ride them. Thanks for sharing these sweet memories with my Small Victories Sunday linky. I’ve pinned to my linky board.
    Tanya just posted…March 2014 Personal Goals #2014GoalsMy Profile

  6. Christie March 3, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    I couldn’t imagine the heart attack I’d have, but makes for a fantastic story!
    Christie just posted…Celebrate Publix Italian Days with Big Savings!My Profile

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