Mothers, gather your children together and give them the biggest, longest, tightest hug you can give them. Fathers, do the same. Today, I experienced one of the scariest moments of my life and it involved my son.
So What Happened?
It started off innocently enough. Eugene left to pick up our school aged children after dropping myself and Danielle off at home after we picked her up from kindy. Danielle was set up in front of the television with Isabella to watch a my little pony movie and I went into the home office to do some admin.
I saw Blake coming through the door through the security camera monitor we have in the office so I called out to him. He came running into the office, a little puffed, saying he “ran home” excitedly and also upset that I wasn’t at his class to pick him up. When I heard him tell me he ran home, I looked at him confused and replied “from the gate?” thinking the home gate. Why would I think anything else? I sent him off to get out of his uniform and when I didn’t see Celine coming through the door, I assumed she’d gone off with Dad to his next job. Well, you know what they say about assuming, right?
One Of The Scariest Moments Of My Life
A few minutes later, I got a phone call from Eugene. This is where one of the scariest moments of my life occurred. Eugene was phoning to ask if I knew where Blake was! He was standing in the school grounds panicking with the headmistress of the school looking for Blake. Which confused me, because… Blake was home. But if Eugene hadn’t brought him home… who did?
I let Eugene know that Blake was home and he & Celine came home very quickly. We had a family meeting to discuss what had happened. Eugene got to the school and found Celine playing in the front playground. When he asked her where Blake was, she shrugged and said she didn’t know. She didn’t know where Blake was. She didn’t go to meet him at his class when she realised her parents were a little late to pick them up.
So they went to Blake’s class to see his he was there. There was a relief teacher there who didn’t even know what Blake looked like. They checked the sandpit and the back playground. They got the headmistress and others involved in looking. And finally, Eugene rung me. I knew nothing of any of this until his phone call.
We sent the girls away after the family meeting to talk to Blake about what happened. How did he get home? A friend’s parent drove him home. Which friend? Eden. Who is Eden? A boy in his class. Why did he leave school without Celine? He couldn’t find me. Why did he get in someone else’s car? Because it was his friend. Did he go anywhere other than straight home? Did anyone touch him? Was he hurt in any way? The questions went on and on and on.
More Fool Me
We eventually established that he was dropped straight off at our gate and came straight from school, safe and sound. So why was this one of the scariest moments of my life? Blake is 5. Just 5 years old. I thought he understood that he should never leave the school grounds without Celine or myself (or Dad if Eugene was picking him up). I thought he understood that one of us will ALWAYS pick him up even if we might on the rare occasion be a few minutes late, like today. It was something we had discussed before, when he first started school.
I thought he understood that he should never get into a stranger’s car even if it’s his friend, they are a stranger because Mummy & Daddy don’t know them. I thought Celine understood that she should go meet Blake at his class if I wasn’t there in time for the bell and I thought Blake understood that he should wait for Celine if I wasn’t at his class waiting for him.
Apparently, I thought wrong. Anything could have happened. Anything.