We were at a birthday party this weekend and I lost Marlin! It was awful. Way worse than when I lost him at the Children's museum. At the museum I could block off the exit and work from there. At the party, (we were at a park) I didn't even know which way he went.
We were at a playground at the top of a hill. At the bottom of the hill are several other playgrounds and the shelters where the birthday party was being held. The kids and I headed straight to the playground to run around a little before the cake and present activities began.
Alivia and Marlin ran onto the equipment and Molly and I headed to a slide so I could let her do some sliding and giggling. When I looked up I found Alivia but I couldn't find Marlin. I looked around and still couldn't find him. Alivia started searching with me. We looked down from the top of the hill at all the other little playgrounds. Had he wondered down to one of them? Had he gone back to the shelter? The little voice in my head started saying "Stay calm, fix the problem, stay calm and fix the problem" I asked several adults if they had seen a little boy in blue plaid shorts and a blue shirt. No one had seen him. The voices in my head began to argue "OH MY GOD HE IS MISSING!"
"Stay calm, you will find him!"
"How could I have lost him!"
"Stay calm, he can't have gone to far"
"I don't even know what direction he went!"
"stay calm, he is probably back at the shelter."
I had a friends husband watch Alivia at the playground so I could go check the shelter. I went down the hill and started to cross the big grassy area when I looked to my left and saw a lady holding Marlin's hand and walking toward me. She was waving and pointing at Marlin.
With Molly on my hip I ran over and hugged my little missing man. He was sobbing. The sweet lady said that he had described me to a tee and she even knew my name was Angie. Thank GOD for kind hearted people who watch over children when they are lost.
After the panic settled and the tears from the reunion were gone the self abuse started.
How could I have been so careless. How do you lose a 3 year old? Don't you know you have to watch him? What kind of parent are you? Oh the guilt. Its bad enough to lose a child for 5 minutes there is really no reason for the abuse afterward but I can't avoid it. The mom guilt hits whether you believe it or not.
That was one of the longest 5 to 10 minutes of my life, my heart goes out to people who truly lose their children and do not get them back. I can't even imagine...