Did your child get lost?
What happened and how did your thoughts and feelings go during the process?
We were at a fair on campus. My ten-year-old daughter wasn’t so interested in going where we were going so she asked if she could walk around the block and meet us on the other side of the event. It was only around the block in the middle of a beautiful day. What could go wrong?
Then she didn’t show up. We waited a bit more to see if she was just slow. Then we started going to the fair organizers to ask them to make an announcement about her. Nothing. We were looking around, taking turns guarding our other child.
Finally, about half an hour into this (or maybe less and it only seemed that long), my wife went to see if we could retrace her steps, and there she was, coming back the way she had gone, crying and crying and being led by a stranger. Apparently, that had been a difficult decision for her to make. Stranger danger vs really needing help. Good thing most people are good.
It seems she had made a wrong turn—a turn too soon, and had been unable to find us.
Of course, we were worried as heck, imagining kidnapping and whatnot, and telling ourselves that most likely it will turn out ok. Something innocuous had happened and she was never in any danger. But still, the mind races and it’s hard to keep yourself from thinking if something happens to her, we’ll never forgive ourselves.
She got scared to death since then, and is not anxious to go off on her own when we are together. On the other hand, she is perfectly find going off on her own to go downtown to hang out with her friends and go window shopping or take the subway to school or whatever.