Sunday, June 14, 2009


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.


Jamie said...

Oh wow - I would be FREAKING out. That is one of my biggest fears. I'm so glad everything turned out OK for you.
I often think about how my oldest also does not know his information - his name and that's it. Your story makes me want to go and make him memorize some personal info.

Lahni said...

I'm so glad you found him. I can't imagine how scared I would have felt! I've tried to teach my oldest his info. He knows our first and last names and stuff but he thinks addresses don't need numbers and stuff. He thinks our address is Cimarron, which is the community we live in. And phone number? I promise, I've tried!

Two Mittens said...

I know what you mean about getting them to remember stuff.
The police can find an address from a phone number, but I still think a tattoo is the way to go...
Ankle bracelet???

We are actually thinking of putting a note inside their bike helmets or SOMETHING.

mc said...

I am so glad that he was found safe and sound!
This website sells bracelets:
but maybe a note in their pockets or in the helmet is just as effective.

Daisy Patch said...

You poor thing.I'm so glad he was found.I always hope it will never happen, but it doesn't take long does it."Monkey" ran across a busy street before I could catch her and that was scary enough!

workinmom said...

WOW! I can't imagine what that must have been like. Andra thinks it's funny to run away from me and has often hid behind clothing racks or shelves at a store which has caused my heart to jump when I turn around and she's gone...but she's never been missing for more then a couple of mintes...over an hour...yikes!

five out east said...

Parker is 8, and I felt the same way when he was missing. He knows that if he is leaving a friends house to go somewhere else, he has to come tell me. He was playing with friends, and their dad took them all to the park to walk the dog. Nobody knew where they went or even when. It was only about 15 minutes, but what a panic!

I still am trying to get him to remember our phone number.

Margo said...

*Deep sigh*
OH....I am so sorry you to go through this. It's gut wrenching...regardless of the fact that it all worked out in the still hurts. I am so glad the Lost Boy is safe and sound.
I created a "business card" that has W's name and my name and phone number, put it in luggage tag and attach it to his belt loop and put a card in his pocket usually when we are out.
My friend is a policeman and he says this happens all the time...usually they are found in the house! Too scared to speak up cause they'll be in trouble. My nephew did that once...found in the backyard in his little the police too.
We need homing devices....beakons....and again shock belts!

Peace Sweet Peas said...

I'm oh so sorry you had to go thru that. I had this one horrid day as a nanny which involved roller blades, kids getting far ahead, another refusing to skate: which I handled all very badly. I'm so glad that you asked and got lots of help. It does restore some faith in humanity doesn't it.

On the unspeakable end the girls got these id kits from visiting the police station which i finally filled out. It includes everything fingerprints, hair for DNA, height, pic, etc.

Thank God it all turned out well.

Go Cards said...

That is crazy. So happy that you found the little monkey. I think it is every parents nightmare. My older 2 know our names and have the phone # for the most part...the stupid 403 thing throws them off!
Keep trying, I know a mom who does it every night before the kids go to bed teach them a phone # for a week or something...

Two Mittens said...

Thanks everyone for all your thoughts and comments!