Monday, May 3, 2010

Zero to Panic in 45 minutes

That's exactly how long it took me to burst into tears.

On a quiet Sunday afternoon, they wanted to go play at the park.  Homework was done and church rehearsal was in less than an hour.  So I let them walk to the nearby park, together, telling them I'd pick them up on our way to church.  WHICH park, became the object of a Mother's panic within that hour.
We are holding fast that the parents in this conversation heard Valley Place park.  The boys, who also eventually admit they were discussing which park, ended up at the school park @ Sunny Hollow.  Now...  herein lies the problem.  This park is not as nearby as Valley Place.  I would not have let them walk that far in the small window of time between leaving and church choir rehearsal.  Therefore, in MY mind, there's no way on God's green earth they should not have been playing and waiting at the park across the street.

I show up.
They are no where around.
I walk up the hill and around the pond to see if they've wandered.
They are no where.
I call JP and ask if they walked home and I missed them.
They are not in sight.
He gets on his bike and starts over and around the school while I wait on the hill.
Still, no boys.  No one at the park.  Eerily quiet.
It's now 20 minutes past the time they should have been waiting for me to pick them up.
I kept telling myself that this wasn't like my boys to not be where they said they'd be.

I walk the perimeter of the pond.
Could they have fallen in?
      My boys are good swimmers.  That would be far-fetched.
Did someone take them?
      My boys have been to numerous safety camps.  Why would they allow it to happen?
My mind starts wandering to a terrible place.

We walk the perimeter of the park.
Asking people playing tennis if they've seen the boys.
No one has seen them. 

Thankfully, we have very, very good friends in the neighborhood.
I start calling a few nearby to see if they wandered over.
No, they did not.
JP calls one of our friends (a NH police officer) and he's on duty.
30 minutes have gone by.  I've now met with JP and the officer.
I have called to ask many people if they saw the boys walk by.
One of our neighbors is off shopping with his kids and declares an "emergency" to come help.
Another friend, in tears, puts her youngest in her van to drive around and help us look.

40 minutes have gone by since I arrived at an empty park.
I have called friends, leaving desperate messages.
Probably sounding pathetic.
Feeling pretty inept at being a mom.
How could this happen?  Where could they be?

I decide to drive to church on a whim - not sure why they'd have been picked up by someone else and delivered to church, but...  I did ask someone to help drive them on the Saturday coming up.

I am about to post "please pray for us, I've lost my boys"
on my FB status.
It sounds desperate.  Why would I post that?!
Why would I admit to losing my children?!
Yet, putting it out there and praying...  just maybe...
And yes, I'm now typing this while driving.
Tears flooding own my face.  (and again while I type this)
I get almost to the intersection to turn and for some reason, pull a u-turn to check the school park.

I come around the corner
into the parking lot
and there's my boys.

                  Laughing, giggling, making new friends on the playground.

Inside, I am seething... I want to strangle them!
Inside, I am overjoyed...  and relieved.

I call JP to tell him the news.
We both call a few friends to tell them the search is off - we found the boys.

And one of the scariest moments of my life is over.
After 45 minutes of unbelievable emotion.
My heart still aches over the thoughts of "what if"....
But it also overjoys at how my village tribe came together...
to help us in our dire, crazy need
in what could possibly be our biggest miscommunication
as a family.

I take the boys to church.
They sing and dance their way through the musical.
My heartbeat slowly begins to return to normal.
And I say many prayers of thanksgiving in that hour,
while I watch those blond-headed boys sing & smile back at me.

To those who helped us learn this parenting life lesson...
                a huge prayer of thanksgiving.

I am humbled, once again.

In my Memorial Box Monday post today, I have nothing tangible, only my faith in God for His deliverance of answered prayers.


  1. So glad you found them OK, and so sorry you had to go through that. 45 MINUTES?! Aye yi yi... {hugs}

  2. That would be so scary!! I am glad they were all safe and sound in the end. Whew. And even having a great time together.

  3. Wow! That would be SO scary! So glad that everyone was alright. Praying that the Lord edits those thoughts that have gone to dark and scary places!