Saturday, August 15, 2009

 

That. Scared. Me.

Ok, I know many mothers have gone through the same thing, but holy crap. That scared me.

Dave’s been working long hours on a commercial so I had the girls all day by myself. I invited a friend and her 6-year old daughter to meet us at the Taste of Edmonds.

She brought along one of her friends so we had three women and four kids. Everything was going as smoothly as it can in crowded festivals like that until I looked around and couldn’t find Jo.

I had been standing in line at the big inflatable slide with the two six year olds and Jo. Lex was in the stroller with one of the women. Jo was standing with the six years olds and then she wasn’t.

“Where is Jo?” I asked Bek. She shrugged. I looked around a bit.

“Jo?” I called.

No answer.

We were in a fenced in part of the festival that had five inflatable kid stations.

“Jo!” I yelled. I scanned the area and didn’t see her anywhere.

My two friends started yelling for her.

The three of us were looking around and we couldn’t see her anywhere.

Soon, we had about ten people yelling and looking for her. I was getting frantic. I’ve lost sight of kids before, but I’ve never had other people looking with me.

Then the all the workers were gathering around and helping us.

I went around the big slide. Behind the ride were gaps in the fence that any creep could climb through, snatch a kids and sneak back out of. The ride had all sorts of nooks a two-year-old could crawl into.

Adults were going into all of the rides, looking to see if she had slipped into one.

I was screaming for her. Crying. I looked down at Bek and she was crying too.

“JO!” I yelled over and over.

This is how it feels
, I thought. This is how it feels when your kid disappears.

Everyone in the area was looking for her.

Stop being dramatic
I told myself. I wanted to text my husband and tell him to come quickly.

And then my friend yelled my name. Jo had wandered to another area of the festival. They found her in the dirt by a service RV.

I hugged her tightly and felt like a total fool.

I joke that Jo is too ornery to ever be kidnapped. She’d be one of those cases you read about where the child chews off the rope, kicks out the back of the car and jumps to safety.

I never, ever want to find out.

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