One of our favorite things to do the past few weeks is go for bike rides. Me and the kids. Babe rides in the chariot behind me and the boys on their bikes. We've had a fairly good system where one kid tends to be a bit slower with his training wheels and the other one rides a bit faster but I have managed to straddle between them and we always wait and catch up every few minutes. It's been a nice bit of freedom for all of us.
So we were off for a great ride on Saturday morning down a beautiful bike path...on our way home one little boy got separated from the rest of us. I kept expecting to see him around the next bend, as he has been very good at not getting too far ahead. But with all the trees and the small pathway, I lost sight of him.
I will spare you all the gritty details, but I ended up circling around and around for about an hour looking for him. I did not find him.
I am not a person who panics easily. This little boy is adventurous and curious and I figured he'd just wondered off a bit. But it doesn't take too long before that little wiggle of fear starts to grow and you don't want to think those thoughts, but you can't help it.
In the end we called the police.
My first tip of the day. The Police will help you find your lost kid. I was somewhat hesitant fearing the big hoopla of sirens and all the commotion you imagine when you call 911. But they take a description and send out a car to help you look. And apparently they had already had several calls that day (before noon) from frantic parents. I had no idea you could do that so quickly.
Within minutes we heard from some helpful strangers on the path that my lost boy had been found, further away than we can expected him to be, but completely safe and sound. And he was with a police officer on his way back.
SOOOOOOOOO...what did I learn from this experience...???
Yes, of course, don't lose your kid for starters. But as often with these sorts of life events there are many lessons.
As the kind police woman pointed out, The Lost Boy didn't know any of his personal information. He didn't know our first or last names. Or our phone number. Or address. We're thinking of having something tattooed or gps implants...
Right at the moment I realized I couldn't do any more on my own, help was there. Our neighbours literally came out in droves. On bicycles and in cars they came. Concerned and kind they came. Supportive and caring they came.
I relied on the kindness of strangers as well. One woman in particular rode around with me from the beginning.
Someone I had talked to on the path actually saw The Lost Boy and got him to the police.
Thank you all.
And oddly enough I learned I am thankful for the Loud Boy. The one who constantly lets me know where he is and what he needs.
So prayers were answered and we are thankful and grateful and relieved. The Lost Boy himself seems untraumatized. I don't want him to feel fear the way I do, but I wish he had just a little... we'll continue talking about it.
At the end of the day, my heart breaks for those parents. I can barely breath when I think about it. I'm not going to dwell on all the fear. But my heart breaks.