Friday, February 24, 2012

Gone in a Moment

It is entirely accurate when they say,  "He was RIGHT here a second ago."

I was not being a bad mom.
I was not leaving my child unattended without regard to his whereabouts.

I was, however, shopping with my mom and Landon in a thrift store that allows for a generous margin of touching everything we see.

Which is why we go there.  

To read the books, play with the toys, touch and talk about all the little household gizmos, ride the plastic vehicles, and generally fill some time with a free adventure out of the house.  More often than not, we go away with nothing but some fun memories.  (and a little deposit in my reserve of sanity)

Until today.  Today Landon was quietly sitting in the aisle reading kids books and I was in the same aisle browsing cookbooks.  My mom came by and asked, "Where is he?"

And then that line, "he was right here a second ago," hit me in a way I really didn't like.
Because clearly, he was completely not there.

My mom went near the front of the store (and exits) and I roamed every aisle.  (in a store about the size of a grocery store).  To the back.  To the toys.  Calling his name with more urgency and volume each time.

My heart rate goes up.  Adrenaline shoots through.  I have a picture of myself sobbing and saying, "It happened so fast," that is flickering on the edges of my thoughts, while another part of my brain is urging me to ignore the drama and FIND my son.

I lock eyes with my mom across the store and can see that she is starting to bubble alarm, too.  I know she'll guard the front doors.  I'm headed to the side "Employees only" exit and banging it open a little too forcefully. And starting to raise my voice, attracting attention, and looks of pity or contempt, I care not.

I've swept this whole store once.  This is going on too long.  I hate myself (Cookbooks?  I lost him over cookbooks?!) and I hate this situation and I hate not knowing where he is and I wonder how long it will go before I totally LOSE it....

when a  little blonde head whips by me, riding a wheeled plastic vehicle.
He's going under all the clothes and having a grand ol' time.

Until he sees my face.

We are leaving. Right. Now. You did not stay near me and I did NOT like that, and we must go.  Now.

No spanks, no yelling, no shaking him, but the steel in my voice must be new because he starts to cry a little as though he had gotten a spanking. 

My kindest mom says nothing but, "Wow, they can really get far fast when they are riding on one of those things."

I was not being a bad mom.
But it scares me that in this gig, there are times when "good enough" just isn't going to cut it.


  1. Oh, Jodi, so scary! I HATE those moments. They, unfortunately, increase rapidly as they grow older. :(

  2. You will appreciate that I had one of those moments with Aaron at the LIBRARY! I set him on a chair with one of his favorite books. I went down an aisle to help Ethan find a book, I was not more than 10 feet away from him for more than 30 seconds. That was long enough for him to not only get up and leave his book nicely closed on the chair (just like the movies! argh!) and wander up a small flight of stairs, through the children's area, around the wall and into the adult section. I spotted him just after I finally had to break down and tell a librarian I'd lost my son.

  3. We had a similar situation at Lowe's just a couple of weeks ago with Josiah. After a few minutes of looking we told employees and they locked down the store until we found him. He was hiding and some items fell down on him and he could not get out. Elijah finally heard him calling out "help". My heart was pounding so fast and hard I was sure I was going to have a panic attack. We have all been there and you are right sometimes "good enough" doesn't cut it but that is sometimes all we have to give. That is when I have to trust that He will keep them safe. Sorry you had this experience. You are an excellent mom!

  4. How scary! I haven't had this happen yet (my time is coming soon!) but so many friends have and the one thing I hear from all of them is to tell the manager right away. The manager will post employees at every exit so that they see every single person walking out the door.

    You are such a great mom Jodi and I'm sorry you had such a big scare! I think by the time I found him, I would have just busted into tears!