Things have been crazy busy around here as you can probably tell. I have not been posting nearly as much as what I normally would and that's because ever since school started it's been go go go go. We have our 3 older children all playing on multiple sports teams which takes up nearly every evening of the week and with a toddler in preschool now, it just seems like there is always something to be done. A friend of mine asked me take her place at our local Fall Festival last weekend at the face painting booth and while I was reluctant because my artist skills are
not that good downright horrible, I knew she was in a tight spot so I told her I would do it. I had the older 3 kids plus my niece to help look after our toddler and the fact that it was practically in our back yard made it a little easier.
The festival was in full swing with kids everywhere. It was only going to last for 3 hours so I figured what's the worst that could happen? The line to the face painting booth was hopping all day long and the kids were popping in and out to check in and it was obvious they were having a great time. With about 45 minutes of the festival to go, that's when everything changed. My daughter came to the booth to tell me that "Aiden is missing." I took a deep breath and told her to have the other kids help look for him. I was certain he was just in one of the bounce houses and they had overlooked him. After about 10 minutes I looked out and saw my very frazzled kids--and no Aiden! I immediately hopped out of the booth and started looking myself and that's when the panic set in. If you are a parent and you have ever lost a child, even for a brief second, you know what feeling I am talking about. My heart dropped to the ground and I felt sick to my stomach. My head was racing as I frantically looked around, asking everyone that knows us if they had seen Aiden. Everyone jumped in and started to look. After about 10 minutes we still had not found him. I started fearing the worse. He loves water and just on the other side of the park is a huge pond. Even worse, he is a darling little boy. What if someone took him?! Tears started flowing as I became more desperate to find my baby. At 3 years old, he still has no idea of what kind of dangers could be lurking around every corner and the guilt started overflowing me. How could I leave 3 children responsible for my toddler? It was then that I saw my friend Kelli coming towards me saying "We got him, we got him!" Where was he??? That little booger had been on the hayride the entire time. My independent 3 year old who thinks he is 10 stood in line and got on the hayride all by himself because "he wanted to take a ride." Ugh!
I have to say. It was probably one of the most terrifying moments I have ever had as a parent. I felt like the worst mom in the world at that very moment. I have NEVER lost any of my children, let alone for that length of time. It was so so so scary. I wouldn't wish that feeling on my worst enemy! Never again will I entrust his care to anyone other than a mature, responsible adult. It wasn't my kids fault. They are kids. It was my fault for thinking they could handle our wild child!
Lesson learned. Let's hope I never have to endure that feeling ever again!!!!