I lost my son today.
Have you ever felt time slow down? I have.
After school I let my boys, 8 and 5, play on the school playground to get some of their energy out. Once the teacher blows a whistle, it's time to leave so they can lock up. My 5 year old loves running around with whoever will chase or play with him. It's fun to see him have a good time and get along with kids of all ages. And he's pretty good about coming to me once he hears that whistle - usually.
Today the whistle blew and my 8 year old came to me, but not my 5 year old. I looked toward the gate. Sometimes he likes getting a head start - not that I'm a big fan of that. Still didn't see him. I have my 1 year old in a stroller and my 8 year old, but I cannot find my 5 year old. I tell my son to look around the corner, because he may be hiding. Nope. The teacher on duty suggests I have him called over the intercom. I go toward the office and have my son go look down the path we use to go home and see if he went father than he was supposed to. Nope.
I went into the office and asked them to page him. It took a couple minutes because it was chaos in there. Now, a couple minutes to a mother of a lost child is like 1 year in 'worry years' - not good. I started panicking. I see a friend, who is also a teacher and I start crying. "I can't find my son!" Teachers start looking around, paging and doing anything they can. I go back outside to see if I can see him down the road.
Sidebar. We live right across the street from the school in an apartment complex. It is a 5 minute walk to our door - maybe. Really close. It's wonderful. But in this case, it feels like 20 miles away. I can't see my son! Where is my son! He wouldn't cross the street by himself! He wouldn't walk home by himself! Something must be wrong! Why can't I find my son! What will I do without my precious son!
So, no luck. I go back inside to see if they have discovered anything. His preschool teacher says she's going to get my address and run over there to see if she can find him over there. Another teacher is checking the bathroom. I am looking everywhere around me trying not to scream. An office assistant that had previously gone outside walks in with my precious son! I burst into tears as he walk toward me. I fall to my knees and hug him like I'll never let go.
She said a boy walked him back to the school. She saw him coming up the sidewalk. Blessed boy whoever you are!
I ask my son, after letting him go briefly, where he was. "At the park" He was crying a little, I was crying a lot, his teacher, bless her heart, was crying as well. I told him never to do that again, I told him I was so scared, I told him I loved him, I told him to stay with mommy. There was relief all around. I said thank you to everyone a thousand times and got up to leave.
Once everything was more calm I asked him where he was again, because the playground was locked. How was he at the park?
Turns out, the friend he was playing with after school lives in our complex. He walked home with him and some other kids. He said he knocked on the door but there was no answer. He went behind our apartment and was playing at the playground. HE WAS ACROSS THE STREET BEHIND OUR APARTMENT PLAYING AT THE PARK WITH HIS FRIENDS.
I guess they heard his name on the intercom (perks of living across the street - hearing all the announcements from the comfort of my home) and some amazing wonderful kid, that I am determined to put a name or at least a face to, brought him back toward the school.
Total time lost was about 15 - 20 minutes. Because it's an exact science, that's like 10 years in 'worry years'.
I am forever indebted to all the people, and my Heavenly Father, that were looking out for my family today.
I lost my son today, and then he was brought back by an angel.