Sunday, July 18, 2010

Escape Artist

My sister in law invited the kids and me to stay at a beach condo with her and her two boys this weekend.  It sounded like a nice relaxing weekend for me.  A chance to escape real life for a couple of days, let the girls spend some time with their cousins, get a little sun, and spend some time in the pool with the Little Man.  He loves water.

We got there late Friday night, and after breakfast Saturday morning, Little Man was dying to get to the "wa-wa".  I put him in his swim diaper and sunscreen, got the girls started on their sunscreen, and went into the bathroom to get changed and get Little Man's bathing suit.  I suddenly realized I hadn't seen my boy in a few minutes, and noticed it was eerily quiet.

I left the bathroom, and asked where he was.  No one knew.  I started looking in closets, and my sister in law went to look in the bedrooms on the other side of the condo.  As she passed the front door, I heard her gasp and say, "Oh, NO!"  I ran to where she was.  She said the door was cracked open!

Cue complete and total panic!

We both flew out the door.  We were in the very last condo on the third floor, and the stairs were right outside our door.  She went down the stairs while I headed to the elevator.  We were both calling his name, and we could hear him crying and saying, "Mama", but we couldn't really tell where his voice was coming from.

As I got closer to the elevator, I thought he sounded closer to the stairs.  When I started down the stairs, I met my sister in law on her way back up.  She thought he sounded closer to where I was.  UGH!

I told her to go all the way down, and I would head back to the elevator.  As I started back up to our floor, I heard a lady's voice saying, "Where is your mommy?  Is she in there?"  I could tell her voice was coming from above me, so I kept going up to the fourth floor.

Little Man was at the door of the unit directly above our condo.  He had been crying, his tears left trails in the sunscreen on his face, and he was terrified.  He had been knocking on that door and calling for me.  The lady in the condo next door to where he was knocking had come out with her two little girls.  They thought he had just walked out of that door, and they were ringing the door bell.

As soon as he saw me, he ran to me, and I dropped to the floor to hug him.  That is the best hug I have ever had!  The Good Samaritan lady kept asking me if I was okay.  I guess my giant pregnant belly, and the terror on my face weren't really a good combination.  I assured I was fine, and thanked her over and over for trying to help my little guy.

From the time I knew he was missing until the time he was in my arms was less than two minutes, yet it seemed like an eternity.

Once we were back in our condo, we had a "team meeting" and discussed the necessity of locking the dead bolt on the door anytime anyone went in or out. 

Little Man didn't want to leave my side for quite some time.  He even sat in my lap while I went to the bathroom.  When he did venture away from me, I was asking where he was every three seconds or so. 

I didn't sleep well that night.  He was in the bed with me.  Normally, when he sleeps with me, I spend a lot of time pushing him away so I can have some space.  That night, I kept thinking of all the things that could have happened in those few (but very long) minutes I couldn't find him.  He could have made it down the elevator and to the pool.  He could have fallen down the stairs.  He could have made it to the parking lot and been hit by a car.  He could have been kidnapped.  I spent most of the night making sure a part of him was touching me, just to make sure he was really there. 

And thanking God for watching over him when I wasn't.


Pajama Mama said...

This made me cry bc I can feel your sheer terror all the way to Georgia.

Shawna said...

Oh girl. I know exactly what you went through. The same thing happened to us when Kaya was about 2 1/2. The front door wasn't locked, and she got out looking for me. Walked down the street. I hate telling the story because I too worried about all the things that could have happened. Thinking about the incident still makes me shudder at how I almost lost her. We definitely think God was protecting her that day. It's the only thing that explains her avoiding so many dangers. Praise God for protecting your little man. Squeeze him so tight. As I read recently, we are all just one mistake away from losing our children forever. It's so hard to watch all of them all the time! Especially when you're pregnant. You're an amazing mother, even when you don't feel like it. Bless you, dear.

Shawna said...

Thanks for doing the follow-up research on "purple Jesus." My goodness, that was crazy! The info you added was about what I was expecting when I did the search. Not drugs and alcohol! Geez!