A lost child is enough to make a mother or father lose their mind. Even if it’s a matter of a few minutes, they’re some of the longest, hardest moments in a parent’s life. Some of my readers have shared their stories with me.
Here’s DebraKristi‘s experience:
Gosh, I think the time that actually scared me the most was when I took my eldest to the Dorothy the Dinosaur consort (from The Wiggles). He was an only child then and probably around the age of three.
The isle was crammed pack full of miniature people and my little one decided to join them for some dancing and wiggling. Of course I moved in next to him. All of the sudden he rushed the stage, slicing through all the tiny little people like a magician. I fumbled and pushed forward as fast as I could to keep up with him but he was gone. Just gone.
I got to the front of the stage and he was nowhere to be found. Looked to the left and to the right – nothing. I ended up getting the staff involved. But those minutes with him missing were the most agonizing minutes of my life.
It turns out that he had gotten to the front of the stage and immediately gone to the left, circling around the entire theater. I was probably running around him in my frantic state trying to locate his little head amongst the hundreds of others. What a crazy night I never want to revisit.
The most scared I’ve ever been was when my daughter was three. We were at a mall carousel, and I was buying tickets. When I turned around, she wasn’t there. I walked around and around the carousel and couldn’t find her. She had wandered into the bathroom and I finally found her. I can still feel my heart beating when I think about it!
Coleen Patrick remembers:
My heart stopping moment was losing my three year old for a few minutes at an amusement park! Don’t even want to describe it–too cringing to remember!! !
My first novel featured the kidnapping of a three-year-old girl. So when my husband woke me up early one morning, telling me our three-year-old wasn’t in her bed, I panicked. Luckily she had just gone downstairs with her blanket and doll and lay down on the couch. We fussed over her so much, she never did it again.
I have a lost and found story, too:
One horrible afternoon when Sunflower was about 8 years old, I couldn’t find her in the house or outside, so I called some of our neighbors to see if she was playing over there. No one had seen her. I was about to call the police when she walked into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I’ve been looking all over for you. Where were you?”
“Sleeping in my bed.”
I had checked her bunk bed, but she must have been hugging the wall of the top bunk with the blankets unmade and draped so the bed looked empty. I felt super stupid, times ten, but so thankful my daughter was all right.
Sunflower felt so bad seeing how panicked I was when I couldn’t find her that every time she said good night or took a nap, she always added, “I’ll be laying in my bed.” It finally got to the point we could laugh about it, and it became a running joke for years.