My husband and I lost our daughter this past weekend. Where were we while she went MIA? Napping, I think. Though we were also fiddling with firewood and constructing a wood horse during those missing hours, so it’s really hard to say.
Truth be told, we didn’t really know she was missing until another equally ‘observant’ set of parents noticed their daughter was missing, too. I received that dreaded text from parenting hell that read; “How are the girls?” from the other mom, to which I had no choice but reply, in most articulated fashion, “?????!!!!!!!!”
Alive and Well
We managed to pin point the last time either of us had seen the two frolicking with friends, and low and behold, there they were! One campsite over from where we last left them, with even more pony-tail-headed BFFs. Everyone was alive and well, thankfully.
Though I wasn’t really ever totally terrified. Hubby and I raised our first born in an outport, and if you could draw your kid in for a meal or for bedtime on the first name bellow, then you were doing something wrong as a parent. And lose him? I’d worry more if I knew where he was back then. Trust me, I’d take; “Where’s the boys?” over, “Brody’s headed down the wharf, steady go, on his bike,” or, “Your youngster just shot across the road in front of my truck, gone mad on a crazy carpet,” any day.
There’s something about a child who’s been ‘lost.’ They come back more buoyant that when they left, totally filled with adventure, more confident even. And the treasures? Just dump out the pockets of a “lost” child and see for yourself. Bits of wood, bottle caps, snails (Brody), headstone for a dead pond minnow (Elia) and lollipop wrappers – treats passed out from some kind-hearted parent or well-endowed-pocketed kid they picked up along the way.
But even as I’m embracing the lost art of getting lost, I have to admit there was a feeling of; that can’t be right, can it? too. I mean, losing a kid in a campground – filled with year-round campers or not – isn’t quite the same as losing one in an outport of your birth now, is it?
So, in the spirit of doing the right thing, I bough a set of walkie-talkies. We tested them out soon after. I sent my daughter out into the world to see how far apart we could be while still able to stay in touch. While we don’t have the method down pat yet (She’d ‘Mom?’ me while keeping her button held down, preventing her from hearing my response, and half of what I said occurred without pressing “talk”) we finally somewhat mastered the, ‘Over’ at the end of a message skill.
But then, in a well-meaning attempt to save batteries (so she claims), she turned her walkie-talkie off. Kind of defeated the purpose. Well, at least I somewhat knew where she ended up. I walked a circle as wide as I figured a walkie-talkie could reach, and there she was, right where I never left her, safe, sound and quite merrily and happily lost. Again.