Monday, May 23, 2011

The one where I lost Miles William

Spoiler Alert: He is found.

Yesterday was a fundraiser for Oscar's nursery school, a silent auction and dinner.  It was held in the Fellowship Hall of the church that houses the school. 

There were about 150 people there, and tons of sugar, so in no time flat my kids went from cute, collared shirt wearing, little gentlemen to absolute lunatics. Even with both Nelson and I running herd, we were struggling to keep track of them in the crowded room.

About half way into the even, when the crowd was at critical mass, Oscar started playing with the doors that lead from the Fellowship Hall to the kitchen.  He was on the kitchen hallway side, and I was on the Fellowship Hall side, with Miles.  Nelson excused himself to get cookies to distract the children.

I popped my head through the doorway to tell Oscar to knock it off with the doors and GET IN HERE and less than ten seconds later, when I popped my head back into the fellowship hall, I immediately noticed that Miles William was gone.  Without a trace.

My heart started racing immediately.  Nelson returned just in that moment and I asked him, "Do you have Miles, did he follow you?"

"What?  No, I left him with you.  You don't have him?"

"Oh my god.  No.  He gone.  He's gone!  Where could he be? We have to find him!"

Nelson grabbed Oscar and we began scouring the fellowship hall.  It was packed with people, and there were 20 long tables set up with chairs, so it was crowded and there were lots of littlish people running around.

I check the hallway behind the hall and did not see him I looked in the classrooms, not there.  He'd been gone maybe two, three minutes.

The mom of one of Oscar's friends saw me looking frantic and asked what was wrong and I told her, nearly sobbing, "I've lost Miles.  I've lost him," and she immediately abandoned her dinner and began helping me search.

"Have you check outside?"

And this is when I began to truly panic.  There was a door.  Not far from Miles went missing.  It was wide open.  Wide open to a busy street.  Miles is absolutely the type of kid who will make for a door and run into the road.  It is what he does.

I ran up the short flight of stairs and out the door.  I ran to the road and began looking up and down.  No sign.  It had been maybe five minutes at that point, and the stretch of road is about 1/2 mile long.  He could not have traveled that far in five minutes.  Unless someone picked him up.

I ran back and check the playground.  Lots of kids out there, but not my Miles. I alerted a couple of parents there that knew Miles that I could not find him and they told me they had not seen him but would keep an eye out.

Nelson and Oscar's moms' friend were still looking in the hall and I was sweating and panicking.  I went to the woman running the even and asked her to make an announcement that Miles was missing, and she did. I told the school director Miles was missing and she asked if I checked outside.  I told her I had and she assured me, "Then he's in here.  He is somewhere inside, we just have to find him." She was so confident, and that helped.

Jenny (the mom helping me) suggested we go back and check the classrooms again.  Let me just say, thank god for her because I was not thinking clearly.  I was flipping out.  I had decided if we could not find him on this last sweep, I was calling the police.

As we were walking the hallway, about halfway through the church, Jenny asked, "Have you gone upstairs and check the gym?" I had not, because I could not imagine he'd be there - he never been to the gym, it was halfway around the church - FAR from the hall, and up one full flight of stairs.

Jenny check the gym while I checked the classroom.  Nelson and other parents were still checking the hall.

I finished checking the classrooms and came rushing back down the hall to find Jenny, holding Miles.

"He was up there, playing, just as happy as can be." She was crying; I was crying.  Miles was happily babbling about balloons and a kid named Charlie. Jenny passed him off to me and went to find Nelson, who was searching outside again. 

He was lost of about ten minutes total.

In piecing together what happened, a group of kids must have walked by while my head was in the hallway, and Miles just followed them out.  Even though I realize he was gone immediately, I couldn't see him because he was caught up in the crowd of like-sized kids.

We did not take our eyes off him for the rest of the night. I still tear up when I think about it.

About an hour later, Oscar went missing.  We were not as worried, as Oscar is not a kid to wander off and into the street, but it was still a little frantic.  He'd wandered onto the stage where they were holding the silent auction and did not come when we called.  Then he got really upset because no one found him, and he could not find us because we were looking for him.

I've never lost my kids before, but then I lost them both in one night.  I may never leave the house with them again.


Anonymous said...

I think every parent has lost one (if not all) of their children in public at one point; it it a terrifying thing, but one you'll look back on and laugh about one day.

Thank you for reminding me about the first time I lost one of mine; I do believe I'll post it tomorrow. :)


VandyJ said...

Kids are quick. I know I've lost sight of mine and it only takes a second. I'm so glad it worked out and I can totally see not taking them out of the house until they are like 8 or 9.

Veronica said...

I lost Amy at home, a few weeks ago. She is the kind of kid to walk out onto the highway that runs along our front fence, or to get stuck in our boggy back corner and drown. I was freaking out and we'd covered the entire property and road, plus inside, before Nat found her hiding underneath a pile of pillows on the futon. She'd burrowed underneath them and was hiding and refusing to answer her name. I nearly had a heart attack.

I am so glad both of your boys are safe and my god, I think kids are here just to speed up the greying hair process. xx

Sprite's Keeper said...

Thank you for the spoiler alert. Definitely needed on a post like this. Lost Sprite once in the middle of a store in Epcot. She had wandered off to talk to a cast member and was out of sight for total of a few minutes, but that feeling of despair in the pit of your stomach takes DAYS to ease.
I wish I could give you a big hug!

Pamela said...

I have a runner and a wanderer. It's awful.

Amy said...

Ugh. That panic feeling is the worst! So glad he's okay--and yes, thanks for the spoiler!!

Strawberry said...

What a terrible feeling. Glad you found him unharmed. Whew.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I know how you must have been feeling! I lost my 3year old daughter at the park last week. It was only for about 2 minutes but it felt like a lifetime. Those kids can move fast! So glad that both of your boys were found!

Keely said...

THANK YOU for posting the spoiler. Ugh, kids are here to give us grey hair.

Becky said...

There is nothing worse than that feeling. Nothing. So glad it didn't last long!

And they move fast. I learned that with Hank. They just get farther away than you think they could.

Going right to the road first was a smart move.

Krystal said...

Oh honey, I'm so sorry that you went through that. It is not a good feeling at all. The important thing is they were found safe - but isn't it amazing how quickly they can be in your line of sight and then be gone? Hugs - you're a great mom and you did nothing wrong, next time - a leash would be effective...just sayin'

Casey said...

Even with the spoiler, my heart was in my throat. Phew. It is so damn easy to lose a kid in settings like that, I have temporarily done it a million times. Half of them, I was actually holding one of the missing kids while simultaneously looking for them.