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Wednesday, October 12, 2011


To say I'm a bit of a worrier would be a bit of an understatement.  My boys are forever mumbling things like "Overprotective!" and "Helicopter parent!" under their breath at me.  As if I can't hear them. Puleez!  I have the hearing of a mother owl.  I hear everything. 

And I don't think I'm a helicopter parent.  I've met some of those and trust me, I am not one.  But...I do worry.  Worry I do.  I think I was born with the worry wart gene and it has only been magnified by motherhood and life experience.  

I don't leave the house without praying for the safety of myself, the Darling wieners (whether they are going with me or staying home)  and whoever else I happen to be transporting in my car that day. The boys or Charlie do not leave the house without my praying for their safety and I pray for the safety of every single person I love on a daily basis.  

Me and God?  Are real tight.  Yet still...I worry, worry, worry.  

Well...yesterday my worst nightmare sorta came true.  

I have this little carpool thing going with another mom.  We each have a kid in the elementary school and a kid in the middle school so she takes them all each morning and I pick them all up in the afternoons.

The elementary school lets out a full 50 minutes before the middle school so I have a good bit of time to kill.  Yesterday I had a parent/teacher conference with Dracen's teacher at the elementary school at 3:15 so Dracen stayed with Charlie and I had planned on picking Devin and his friend up at regular time, 2:55, dropping them each off at home and heading straight back to my appointment at the elementary school.  

But the line was backed way up when I got to the middle school to pick them up (probably because it was raining and after school practices were cancelled) so I had to take them with me to the elementary school so I could make it on time.  I hate to be late.  

They are both twelve years old and pretty responsible boys for the most part and I didn't think I'd be in there ten minutes. We live in a Mayberry kind of town so I left them the keys to listen to the radio, told them I probably wouldn't be more than 10 or 15 minutes and said, "Just don't start the car!"  Not that I thought they would but  you know, just wanted to lay down some ground rules. 

I ended up being in the school for 15 minutes so I practically ran out of there, tripping over the tip of my shoe in the hallway and nearly busting my face on the floor, praying the teacher had not seen me through the doorway.  I hauled arse out the front door and bolted through the rain with no umbrella or jacket, opened up the car door, jumped in and had my heart sink like an anchor to the bottom of my toes...



Deeeep Breaths!  In and Out. In and Out...Breeeathe...Just Breeeathe...

What to do...What to do...What to do?! The keys are gone.  They took the keys.... Book bags still here. Cell phone!  Yes!  I knew that thing would come in handy! (We finally broke down and got Devin one a couple of weeks ago)...Straight to voice mail. Sh**!  Where are they?! It's raining!  Why would they go out in the rain?Somebody took them!  Oh my God!  Oh my God!  Somebody TOOK THEM!!!  

I jumped out of the car in the rain, looked in the front door of the school and in the media center but saw no sign of them.  Although I did not think it was likely that somebody kidnapped two 12 year old boys out of the parking lot of the elementary school in broad daylight in Mayberry where everybody knows everybody, my worrying mind automatically began assuming the worst.  

Normally, I think I handle myself pretty well under pressure but y'all, I was flat wigging the bajeebies OUT!  This was not like Devin.  Dracen? Yes.  Never in a million years would I have trusted him to sit there and probably still won't when he's twelve but these two?  I trusted. Completely.  To sit right there outside the school they both attended for seven years and rock out to some tunes until I got back.  For 15 minutes.  

Somebody took them!  Oh Dear Lord, please bring them back!  Please, please, pleeease!!! Bring them back!  

Do I call the other kid's mom at work and worry her?  Do I call 911?  What do I do?  What do I do?  Arghhh!!!!  HELP ME!!!

I must have done circles in the rain in that parking lot, flailing my arms around and slapping my hands to my forehead, at least five times before I finally called Charlie at home.  He tried to calm me down and reassure me that they were most likely fine but I could not calm down.  I was just about on the verge of a nervous breakdown up in that elementary school parking lot.  In the pouring down rain.   On a Tuesday afternoon.  

Every single documentary, t.v. show, book, movie, article I had ever seen or read about kidnapping was racing through my mind as I waited for Charlie to get there.  He had called the other boy's dad, who really didn't seem concerned or worried at all.  And he really didn't need to be because I WAS WORRIED ENOUGH FOR ALL OF US.  

Nearly 20 minutes had passed when I saw what looked like them pop out of the front door of the school. Oh thank YOU, Sweet Jesus!  Thank You!  Thank You!  Thank YOU!  I leapt out of the car, went tearing across the parking lot with my wet hair and clothes, probably looking like a suicidal maniac (judging by the looks on their faces) and lit into them...

"Where WERE you?!!!  Wh-whh....I was worried SICK!  I thought somebody TOOK YOU!...Y-Y-You scared me to DEATH!.."  

Turns out they had gone in the school to talk with their 6th grade teachers from last year and there was only one there who kept talking to them and they didn't want to be rude and tell her they had to get back.  

Though shaking visibly and probably looking more than a little manic, I was able to gain control of myself, call Charlie (who was already pulling up at the school) to cancel the Amber Alert and drive the little runaways home while giving them a lecture on how not to push a mother with a worry wart nature completely off the  edge of the cliff of sanity she was already dangling by a thread on. 

But at least they thought to take the keys because, as Devin so eloquently put it, "We didn't want anybody to jack the car." 

Just Breathe.




  1. Glad they were ok. I would have been worried also.

  2. Poor Mom, Kids just rip your sanity out by the roots dont they?

    You sound just like my wife. Her mom was a worrier and she is not quite as bad but still very protective. And you know what? We still have all our kids and while they get a bit aggravated by it they know they are loved.

    God gave us all a private line with unlimited minutes.

    Glad you found them before you put out the Amber alert.

  3. OMG.

    I would have freaked out.

    I'm so glad they were okay.

  4. Scary Diane! I've lost 2 kids ... several years apart, but they were both 2 at the time. One was in a mall. She was in the midst of potty training, and was a very private little girl. We were all in a bookstore together and she "had to go" so hid behind a bookshelf. One second we had her, the next she was gone. We panicked, split up and scoured the mall. Found mall security, and seconds later she emerged. SCARY. The other time my we were at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii and our little 2-year old son disappeared while we were standing in the buffet line. Same panic, same sick feeling, same involvement of security. He was found by a security guard toddling around eating. He found someone's food on their plate, followed them, snuck a roll and was walking around asking for mommy. Those two experiences aged me about 10 years!

  5. Wow, that would have been overwhelming.

    One where you hug now and lecture them later.

    I can relate to being a quasi-helicopter parent, but I think kids for the most part respect it.

    Working in law enforcement in a past decade certainly contributed to my approach.

  6. I think kids were meant to give us heart attacks.

  7. And now would be a good time to teach them the importance of leaving a note if you are going to change the plans to keep your mom from having a heart attack!

  8. OK, *I* was hyperventilating just reading. This is one of my greatest fears as a parent. That they will just be...gone.

    Whoa, I'm glad they are ok.

  9. bless your heart, I bet this was heard to write afterward. What a story. And you conveyed the frantic emotion so well! Im sorry you got so scared, but totally understand the fear.

  10. HOLY CRAP!!!! I can't even imagine the terror you must have been feeling and that was a long time before they showed up.

  11. I would have had the same reaction!

  12. I think I had a few grey hairs pop up just reading this. I would have completely freaked out so I'm thinking your reaction was totally normal. Now we know why some animals eat their young. Ugh!

  13. So hard to be a mom and turn our hands up and truly let God be in control of our children's safety. My kids are grown and I still want to micromanage their lives. Our 21 year old daughter was just asked to photograph someone's wedding. Now mind you she doesn't even have a camera. Guess you could say I am wishing I could say NO for her. But the bride and her mom and my daughter are so excited. Who am I to assume she will screw this up or that this would ruin anyone's lives. Her dad and I will pray for this to work out as it should not as we feel strongly that it should. In Him, Joyful

  14. Oh no! Not knowing where your kids are is the Worst. Feeling. Ever!
    Sorry you went through that!

  15. You are a great story teller! I could picture the whole thing. Especially since I've experienced some of your hysterics 1st hand:)

    I bet you were ready to kill them!

  16. I was sure there was a happy ending to this story coming but darned if I didn't end up scooting toward the edge of my seat through it anyway. I can't imagine there's too many parents who can't immediately relate.