Saturday night we attended the annual Bonfire at McKade’s school, as I mentioned before. What I didn’t share was the experience of losing sight of my kid for an uncomfortably long period of time.
Mike was volunteering that night at the hayride which left me alone with the boys. Normally this is not a problem for me. The boys seemed quite happy playing in areas that were close in proximity and therefore allowed me to keep a watchful eye without difficulty. I was however, aware of the potential for disaster.
When I arrived at the school that night I observed the closeness of the parking lot to the rear of the school and the unsuspecting children. I surmised that this would indeed be a vulnerable area open to trespassers with ill-intent. And even as I write this, I wonder to myself, am I passing on “hints” and/or “secrets” for next year? You may call me paranoid, I prefer safe, not sorry.
So back to the fear. Mike had a break from volunteering and we stood together and chatted all the while watching the boys enjoy themselves. Right before it was time for Mike to return to his post, McKade ran back over to the main play area. We kissed our goodbyes and off Mike went. What I didn’t see, was that McKade ran behind and caught up with Mike. My vision of this was indeed obscured by the jungle gym I thought he was still playing on.
Suddenly I realized I could not see Mack and I started to freak. I went over to where Mike was volunteering however he was already on a hayride. I just couldn’t wait until he got back. I found a friend to watch Rogan and ran to the DJ to ask him to page McKade. As this was happening, my imagination and fear was rapidly increasing. My initial, passing thoughts of a potential boundary breach by predators were now front and center. McKade did not respond to the page, and my fear was now reaching an even more intense level.
I turned to scan the area again and thankfully this time Mike and McKade were walking towards me. McKade apologized for not telling me before running after his Daddy, and in his defense, he probably assumed that he didn’t need to tell me where he was going since he was going with Mike. I did not have my cell phone with me during this trauma-averted, and I wish I would have.
But what if I did have my cell phone and upon calling Mike, McKade would not have been with him. What the hell would I have done then? Thankfully, the hypothetical is not the reality. My heart breaks for parents who have lost their children. This scare has given me a dose of harsh reality I will take this experience back to the PTA and the school so that next year, perhaps we can shore up the boundaries a bit and provide a little extra safety for our children.
Hug your kids tight and don’t assume that you are the only adult watching them. The predators lie in wait and they are watching too.