Lost. A Moms Worst Nightmare.

5 May

Today I experienced one of those moments that really change the way you feel about life in an instant. I actually was a witness to the event, but it still shook me up in a way I didn’t think was possible. Had happened it TO me, I don’t think I’d be able to talk about it for a while.

Jude & I made our way to Fair Oaks Park early this afternoon for a Cinco De Mayo Fiesta playdate with my Moms Group. The park was pretty packed, especially because the weather was beautiful. I just sat still for awhile in the shade, enjoying watching Jude play in the sand with other kids, listening the soundtrack of laughter in the background. I saw one of Jude’s buddies, Brandon, going down the slide. Most of the other moms from group were cleaning up the kids mess from snack time, including Brandon’s Mom, Krystal.  Jude went over to some bigger kids who had chalk and dumped out their entire bucket. I told Jude “No” and began cleaning up the mess on my knees.

Krystal came up to me a moment later and asked me if I had seen Brandon. “He was just on the slide a second ago” I said. We both shaded our eyes and began searching the sea of children to try and spot Brandon. Krystal walked away and Jude was running to dump out the chalk again, so I swooped him up and started walking around the perimeter of the play structure. About a minute later I still hadn’t seen Brandon but I figured Krystal had probably found him, so I went to find her. I soon saw her searching still for Brandon and I asked, “Wait, did you find him?” “No!” she replied, obviously worried. I could tell she was trying to keep calm. Well, however calm a person can be when their child is missing.

I started to (silently) freak out a little bit. ‘He can’t just disappear!’ I thought. ‘Right?!’

We separated and I started shouting Brandon’s name, while trying to control Jude (who was kicking and screaming because he wanted down). As I was walking around I asked other parents if they had seen him and if they would help us look.

The next 3-4 minutes seemed like 5 hours (I can’t even begin to imagine how long they felt for Krystal). Lots of the other Moms were helping us search for Brandon at this point. We walked all over the park (Which happens to be HUGE. Of course). I saw one Mom checking the bathrooms so I decided to check the parking lot. My mind began to panic as time was passing and I started thinking about all the worst possible scenarios.

Did someone take him? Is he hiding under a car? Did he get hit by a car? Where would he have gone? What if we can’t find him? Should I call the cops?

After looking over the parking lot I made my way to the other side of the park, the direction Krystal had gone. Of course its hard to explain, but one end of the park is the parking lot and the other end (where Krystal was) is just a giant grass hill. Its about 200-300 yards from the play structure. As I started making my way up the hill, I couldn’t see Krystal anymore but began to realize that on the other side of that hill is an extremely busy intersection. No fence.  Just cars and traffic on the other side. My stomach dropped.

A Dad jogged up to my side and began asking me what Brandon was wearing, “Black shirt with writing and tan shorts I think” I answered. He looked worried as I said “He is only one and a half!”  We were reaching the other side of the hill I heard someone yell out, “She found him.”

I instantly started to cry, but felt kind of crazy for crying… and was thankful I had worn my extra big sunglasses. I waited for Krystal as she was walking toward me with Brandon in her arms (who was giggling) and I could see, even in the distance (and with her also wearing big sunglasses) that she was horrified by what had just happened. I could also see that she was shaking. Once she got close enough we just hugged for a good 30 seconds, both of us sobbing.

“Oh my god, oh my god” I just kept saying. She was saying something back but it was hard to understand, understandably. I said, “Its okay, he’s okay. Lets go sit down” and she pulled herself together enough to make it back to the picnic area. Apparently she had called her husband while we were searching and he had jumped on his motorcycle to come to the park. Krystal desperately wanted to call him to tell him the good news but since he was on his bike, he wouldn’t be able to answer/hear his phone. We all gathered around the picnic table still in shock. I was trying to process what had just happened. Krystal told us that when she reached the intersection, luckily, a group of people had surrounded Brandon and waited with him, keeping him safe (and from running into the street). She buckled Brandon into his stroller and informed him he wouldn’t be going to the park again for awhile.

Eventually her husband was able to call her and be told the good news. How helpless he must have felt.

Poor Krystal. It was horrifying enough being a bystander to the experience. Its one of those things you hear stories about but never realize how absolutely terrifying it is until you see if first hand.

I am so thankful that Brandon is okay. I’m also thankful that at least Krystal isn’t pregnant and she can drink a lot of booze tonight.

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One Response to “Lost. A Moms Worst Nightmare.”

  1. Mz Lizzie May 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    OMG!How scary What a relief everything was fine I lost you at Denio’s when you were probably about 2 1/2 just for 2 minutes It was horrible

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