Losing a child 

This morning I lost Mr O. I was at the park {the toilets to be totally specific} with a friend and her three kids and HE. JUST. DISAPPEARED. Literally from right under my nose.

It was stifling and scary and something I wish on no one. I have never felt a feeling more foreboding than one of losing a child. 

Walking the playground yelling his name – each time a little more urgent and louder and desperate than before – and scanning the playground to try to find him amongst all the other kids who were incidentally fucking everywhere but none of them were wearing his distinctive red and white striped top and of course no one was answering my calls. No one was him.

This wasn’t one of those moments when your kid momentarily disappears only to reappear two seconds later because they were behind a tree/crouching down/climbing up/just exploring. Of course I’ve experienced that before and know that feeling. This was gone. Totally gone.

In my heart I knew he couldn’t have run off. He’s not a runner. Never has been. Generally he’s pretty cautious by nature.

What made it worse was that my friend and I visited a park that was near to the area where those two young children were abducted and assaulted this week.

It’s funny what can happen in that moment. Your mind starts racing. Has he been taken? Is he ok? Why can’t I find him?  Why did we come here? How did this even happen? He’s not even four years old.  I am a good mum. All of this. Over and over and over and over as you walk, then run, looking and yelling and thinking.

Then you start feeling sick. And sweaty. And stressed. Stress, in this situation, is a total bitch. 

And then you get teary because your friend yells “he’s here” and you run over to see him in his red and white striped shirt completely oblivious to the racing of my heart which at that very moment feels like it’s about to lurch from my chest. Is this what a heart attack feels like?  
All up it was probably 30 seconds. It felt like 30 years. 

What had happened was that he simply walked out of the toilets and went left and I went right. And in the craziness that is school holidays with about 20 other {way older/taller} kids lined up to use the loos he simply disappeared underneath them. I was three seconds late leaving the loo because I stopped to pick up the paper towel that had fallen out of the {full} bin and onto the floor {see, I am a good mum} and then couldn’t get out easily or quickly because all the other kids and their parents were just milling around waiting to go in. 

It’s taught me a couple of things: Hug your kids a little tighter tonight. And pray for anyone who is living the horrible life of ever having their kids taken and not found. Or as I joked to my friend as we left today, DON’T EVER VISIT PARKS DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS. 

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11 thoughts on “Losing a child 

  1. I know that feeling! It’s horrible 😦 I once lost one of my kids in Myer at christmas at Karrinyup when he was around 3yrs old. We had made a purchase and child number 2 decided he wanted to keep shopping. I said no, we have to leave and to prove a point and not get into an argument I said we were going whether he was coming or not…I took kid number 1 and turned and started to leave….5 seconds later I turned to see if he was following and I couldn’t see him at all! There were what seemed like hundreds of shoppers coming and going and I couldn’t see him anywhere. Having worked at the zoo and experienced receiving lots of lost kids, I went straight to security to report him missing…they found the little bugger a few minutes later…he had taken himself to the christmas section to see all of the Santa things…happy as anything with what he found and no care at all that I had lost him!

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    1. Oh kids are the worst sometimes hey! And Christmas!? I don’t think I could’ve coped! More power to you. Hopefully Santa told him to get back on that nice list quick smart!

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  2. Oh gosh, it is such an awful feeling isn’t it?! My daughter has never done this. She always stays right next to me but my son is completely different! He is a wanderer. I try so hard to make him understand he must stay close but it falls onto deaf ears a lot of the time. Usually I see him before he goes too far but one day I turned for a SECOND to look at something in a shop. I turned back and he was gone. I think I had a mini heart attack. I called him – nothing. Circled round where I was – nothing. I finally found him by the toy cars (surprise surprise) casually browsing! It felt like forever but was probably only a few minutes. But yep everything goes through your head. HORRID feeling!

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  3. It’s amazing all the things that can run through your mind in such a short period of time isn’t it? I still freak out if my 11 and 12 year old aren’t where I expect them to be when I expect them to be there. We all go to the ‘worst case scenario’ as soon as thing go awry. I’m so glad your little man was found safe and sound. ❤️

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    1. It’s the worst! I think parents are just automatically programmed that way. Protective drive kicks in. It’s not a day I want to repeat and Mr O was oblivious and happy, and is enjoying the extra hugs!

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  4. It is a horrible feeling. My daughter JJ went missing in a camping shop, she was right next to me while I was looking at something and when I turned back she was gone. I searched the shops and couldn’t find her. Everyone in the shop was looking for her and we found her hiding in a tent. It was so scary but she thought it was funny!!! Good to hear you found him safe and sound.

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