If you're a mother, then you've had this nightmare: you turn around in the store/park/amusement park/whatever, and your child is gone. You can't find him fast enough, and every second you become more convinced he was snatched by a crazy person who will not love him like you do. What's more, he needs his asthma medication every twelve hours and he can't tell someone because he's too little. Who knows what happens if he doesn't get his meds for a long period of time?
We went to Target after visiting my sister, and were picking out some new fall/winter clothes for the kids. Nate insisted on walking, as 20 month olds are prone to do. Maggie had been hiding in the clothing racks repeatedly and got in trouble each time. With my dad in law enforcement, I guess I'm a little overprotective with our kids in stores and other crowded places. Not to brag, but my kids are gorgeous. We don't know where that came from! But seriously, they are noticed all the time and strangers comment all the time.
Anyway, Maggie held up a dress and said look at me, and we did. Then Nate was gone. Poof, just like that. I charged around the corner, no Nate. I grabbed Maggie so I wouldn't lose her too and off we went through the toys, figuring that was the first place he'd go since they were right there. Ronnie took off for the front of the store so he couldn't go out, and people were helping him check bathrooms in case someone took him in there or something. The Target people were quick to help, calling in a code yellow immediately. I got hysterical after about 2 minutes of calling him and running through department after department, clutching Maggie's hand and a pair of brown corduroy pants that I wanted to hold up to Nate to check the length.
I can't even describe how upsetting this was. Complete strangers were hunting for him as I yelled his name over and over and what he was wearing-Thank God I could remember what he had on. At first when someone asked I totally blanked, but then I remembered. Scary.
Then someone asked again to describe him and when I did she yelled that she thought she found him. Maggie and I went running over there and tripped. We both went down hard and I really hurt my knee but we got right back up and kept running. The lady was calling "over here" and I yelled Nate's name and there he was! I grabbed him and crumpled to the floor, with him and Maggie in my arms, sobbing. Three ladies, the Target lady who called in the code yellow, the lady who found him, and this wonderful black lady just held us and rubbed my back. One of them kept saying "Thank you Jesus". Now I am not overly religious or anything, but I tell you what, I was sure thanking Him myself at that moment. I hugged all three of them and we staggered off to find Ronnie, who didn't know he had been found.
Ronnie was coming around the corner and saw us and I couldn't even stand up again so I knelt in the infant's clothing and held our children some more.
Maggie kept saying the funniest thing, which I could hear on some other level and save it for later when I could actually find it funny. When we first found him, and were all hugging on the floor and crying, Maggie was rubbing his back and saying so sweetly, "Oh Natey, you could've been taken by some kook." I guess I've warned her before!
This was truly my worst day of motherhood, even though with Nate we've been to the ER or Urgent Care several times, even worse than the time I thought his eyeball was going to burst or something. He's allergic to milk, eggs, and soy, and I gave him brown rice without checking the ingredients. It had milk in it and got in his eye. Today was worse than that horrible day when I thought I had killed him.
We're so blessed that he is completely fine and watching Dora right now.