After yesterday’s story about a 5-year-old who slipped away from his mom and rode the subway alone — emerging just fine — here’s a great idea that came from a comment below:
Let’s share our stories of when WE lost our kids for a short time. So much is made of any time a child goes missing – including those statistics you hear about hundreds of kids disappearing each day – that it is good to remember that 99.999% of the time they pop right back up. (And that perfectly fine parents lose track of their kids from time to time.)
Here’s my story: A couple years ago our family of four was on 34th Street – yes, the street with the miracle, but about a block from Macy’s. We’d been looking for backpacks at K-Mart and, finding nothing great, had emerged onto the sidewalk and were trying to decide where to look next. I took our older son, then 10, to a shop across the street and thought my husband was hanging onto the younger one, who was 8. My husband thought I took both. So when we met back up and there were only three of us, I became (yes, Free-Range me) hysterical.
“WHERE IS IZZY?”
We looked and looked and I shouted his name at the top of my shaky lungs. Believe me, it is no fun having strangers stare at you as if you’ve lost your mind…or kid. Several horrible, harrowing minutes later, he came walking down the street, asking us, “Where were you?”
We asked him the same thing. Upon somehow separating from us all he’d gone back to K-Mart to look for us. He’d searched all three floors, including the bathrooms.
I told him he was the only human to EVER find the bathrooms at K-Mart.
Then we went back to backpack shopping and that was that.
Now let’s hear your story, to remind ourselves that even one of parenting’s biggest fears – being separated in a public place from your child – usually ends up with a big sigh of relief. And, when possible, ice cream. - Lenore