Thursday, April 29, 2010

Calling the Police

So, I lost Luke for an hour yesterday.

Long story short, we were at a friend's house for lunch and it was delightful, and I remembered that their backyard wasn't totally fenced in after we sent the kids out with popsicles, but gosh, I was having such a good time with my friend, Liz, that I didn't think much about it. And then, we found him an hour later, perfectly safe albeit poopy, at the elementary school office 6 blocks away. (This will help you breathe as you read the rest of the post--trust me.)

More details include: I remember looking at my watch at 1:15 while the four kids played in the back and then, again around 1:30 and realized that now, there were only three kids. And, my heart sank because I remembered the backyard wasn't fenced in.

So, here's the thing about my Lukey-boy: he's very independent and he has no fear.

We went calling, and then, I went to the front of the house, jogged east to the end of the block, calling for him, jogged west to the end of the block calling for him, when Liz said, "I'm sure he didn't go that far" (because, you see, Liz has delightful, intelligent children who wouldn't go for a walk down a strange street, barefooted with a popsicle.).

Meanwhile, Liz kept calling for him at her house. Then, she started running through neighbors' houses, frantically explaining why she had to look in their pools RIGHT NOW because you see, we had the same biggest fear. I didn't think Luke was kidnapped. I was just sick that we wouldn't know anything until 5 pm when some poor family all came home from work and school and found his little body drowned in their pool.

Soon, we decided it was time to load up the remaining 4 children in our cars and drive; she went east and I went west down the street north of her's. I told her to say, "LUKE, POPSICLE?!" (because, you know, Luke doesn't often just answer to his own name and needs a little incentive to come)

I hit the elementary school up the street and saw that school would be getting out soon because the bus drivers were all lining up. I went to the first one I saw, and said, "My son is missing. He's 3, his name is Luke, and he's wearing a red shirt and no shoes. My cell phone is.... Can you let the other bus drivers know and call me if you hear anything?"

Now, I couldn't see where the heck the front office of this darn school was (though I thought of calling my friend, Christy, a teacher at the school even though she would have been in the middle of class so that she could tell me how to get in). So, I kept dialing 411 (3 times!), asking them to get me the number. They all insisted that every variation of the name of that school didn't exist in their directory. Sigh...

I drove back to Liz's, where we both hoped the other had found Luke. Then, I saw this woman, far away, trying to flag me down.

She was older and had walked out of a house that I thought was abandoned. She was crying and said, "Are you missing your boy?"

I said, "Yes, do you have him?," thinking she had pulled his dead body from her pool and was pretty shook up by it.

"No, but I saw a woman put a little boy walking down the street in her car. She asked me if he was mine, and when I said, 'No.' She said she'd take him to the elementary school."

So, I speed over to the school, ask that bus driver I talked to earlier how I get into the main office. She tells me, and I run in. Right before I get there, I see 2 teachers from Asher's preschool (one will be Luke's next year, my guess is they're both pointing to each other and saying, "Not It!"), and one of them said, "Wait, I recognize you! You're Asher's mom. Your other boy is in the office."

I was so happy.

Then, she continued, "I said to him, 'You're Asher's brother, right?'"

Luke's response, "No."

She said, "Wait, I remember your name. You're Luke, right?"


Good to know we're teaching him a few things around here, right?

So, I go into the office. Everyone is really nice. I said, "Oh, I was just going to call the police."

And, the office lady said, "Oh, we already did."

So, I had to talk to the cops while I held Luke, who of course, had pooped himself sometime ago during his adventure.

But, I have to say--no one yelled at me. I kept thinking, "Don't you want to yell at me because really, I've been yelled at for a lot less than this!"

So, I learned a couple things: don't trust Luke, not even for a second (much less 15 minutes), people won't yell at you about what a crummy job you're doing as a parent if you look desperate and upset enough, and after this experience, I have decided that when the zombies come, yeah, I want Liz to stick with me because seriously, I can't think of how she could have been more resourceful, helpful or comforting.


Kate said...

Oh my goodness. Scariest experience ever. I have lost a kid or two before... usually in a store... but only for a few minutes (which seems like an eternity). I'm so glad he's safe and sound.

Rachel said...

Oh, that Luke. Maybe we should tattoo his name and phone number on him?

Tim and Jennifer said...

Oh my gosh i would have lost it. What a scary experience, I'm so glad it has a happy ending! Kyle already runs so far ahead of me that I get worried. Can you blame it on the pregnancy?

Alisa said...

I am so glad he and all of you are OK. This is such a scary thing to read - I am so sorry that happened to you.

One time as a child I got lost inside a Mervyn's. I refused to give anyone my name because they were strangers. I wonder if that's why Luke didn't give any identifying info?

Mike and Bianca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike and Bianca said...

Oh my gosh!!! That's so scary! Ah! The other day Max walked out the door and 30 second had gone by before we realized it and I totally freaked out. It took up about 2 minutes to find him. I can't imagine 1 hour!!! I'm so glad that lady picked him up and took him to the school.

Don't feel too bad, I'm sure you could blame it on the pregnant head :)

alligood said...

That is sooooo scary! I'm so glad everything turned out fine!

Adrianne said...

So glad you found him safe and sound. What a scary experience to lose him like that!

k said...

This is SO scary to read, I am so sorry for how you must have felt during that hour. I am so glad to hear that Luke is safe and sound though. My heart is beating fast after reading this. Luke, jeez!!