“I’ll just feed her.”
“There’s poo on the bag, bird poo, look.”
We scramble for the wet wipes and try to placate your hungry, shouting sister. Pointless really. She shouts louder.
“Where’s the boy?”
We look around us. Children are playing. Parents are chatting.
You’re not there.
Children shout. They laugh. It’s just noise. It may as well be silence.
Your Dad starts running.
I throw your sister in the pram and do the same.
You still don’t answer.
This is real.
The panic starts in my stomach and within seconds fills my mouth.
Why are they all still playing?
One mother catches my eye. She sees the fear. “WILLIAM.”, she screams. I want to tell her no. He won’t come to you. He needs me. His Mum.
Who lost him.
Your Dad reappears.
He stares at me for a moment.
He starts to run for the exit.
No need for words.
We both know it.
Someone has taken you.
We can’t let them get away.
In that moment I know that he would give his life for you.
I know that I would.
I want to fall to my knees but the fear drags me forwards.
I scream your name.
The whole world spins.
How can they be laughing?
Everywhere I turn…you are not there.
I hear screaming. Loud. Gutteral.
It takes a moment before I realise it is coming from me.
“He’s here. I found him.”
I want to fall to my knees. I stumble forwards. The pram holds me up.
I can hear my heart beating.
I want to grab you. Hug you. Scream at you.
You climb the slide.
I phone your Dad.
Your Dad returns. He looks older somehow.
We can’t speak.
We can’t look at each other.
Hours later. We watch TV. You are safe in your bed. Asleep. And then the tears come.
Your Dad holds me.
Only he will ever understand the place that they come from.
The fear that releases them.
And they don’t stop.
I fear they never will.
For two minutes you were lost.
I am reliving those two minutes again.
You have no idea.
I pray you never will.
The tears still come.
Michael Cargill says
This a damned good post. I don’t have kids but I could feel the pain.
Shell Louise says
This post brought back ‘that’ feeling I had when Ella was missing for about 5 minutes. We couldn’t find her in the house. We went outside where it was cold and dark and we couldn’t find her on the street. I was going to phone the police but wanted to double check the house first. She was hiding in a cupboard. That memory still makes me cry now.
Sending hugs xx
You have me sitting here with goosebumps and tears in my eyes. Such a strong and emotional post, Jenny. As I told you yesterday, I once lost Amy at soft play and it was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. I’m so glad you got William back safely x
Mummy Lish says
Oh wow, what an amazing post. It covered me in goosepimples, filled my eyes with tears, I felt the panic of those two minutes. How very terrifying for you all. x
Oh Jenny, I know this feeling, I had it once happen to me and I still feel nauseous thinking about it now. That goodness you had your husband there too to help you – you poor thing x
Oh my goodness. Sat here in tears! Such a powerful post. So glad you’re little one appeared safe and sound xx
maggy, red ted art says
Oh the worst feeling ever 🙁
Amazing post but for all the wrong reasons! Every parents worst nightmare, glad he is ok xx
Michelle Twin Mum says
What a powerful post Jenny, so glad it was just 2 minutes and he is safe. Mich x
What a terrifying feeling, but so well written, glad all is well x
Beautiful writing. Terrifying situation. So pleased it had a happy ending. X
Emma (@emvanstone) says
I’m so glad everything was ok, it’s terrifying when they get lost. Lots of love. xxx
Actually Mummy says
Not knowing where your child is is the most sickening feeling in the world. I had it when my 3 year old fell into a hole we had dug on a massive crowded beach. I knew he was gone , and although it was only for a few minutes I can still feel that tangible fear and utter devastation from all those years ago. So glad it was ok in the end x