Lost One

I wrote this post 8/20/14 right after the incident. It’s been sitting in my “drafts” until today.

Yesterday, on our first day of vacation, we experienced the scariest few minutes of our lives.


We were visiting Hubby’s mom and sisters in Rockaway and we all decided to walk to a park at the beach, few blocks away. After playing on the swings and slide a little, RJ notice a hopscotch game painted on the ground and wanted to play. Hubby, my mother-in-law and I joined him. He went through once and then hurried off to go play with his cousin. Hubby, my MIL and I stayed by the hopscotch court while I had them refresh my memory on the real rules of the game.

Taken before we lost him.

Taken before we lost him.

Then it happened, I heard one of my sisters-in-law say, “Where’s RJ?” I didn’t panic at first because, surely, he was there on the playground somewhere. As I did a 360 scan of the area, I spotted him, but he wasn’t in the playground area. He was standing alone, yards away on the boardwalk steps that lead to beach. To get there, he had to go out of the playground gate, walk up, some steps, and cross the boardwalk. As I ran to him I was relieved, upset, and still scared. When I reached him, I told him to never do that again, that something bad could have happened to him and that he’d scared the life out of me. I asked him why he just walked away and he said he didn’t know. Then, he began to cry and so did I. He was crying because he could tell from my reaction what he did was wrong, or it could have been the “death grip” I had on his arm. I was crying for a number of reasons:

He was safe

I wasn’t the first person to realize he was missing

I wasn’t watching

All the things that could have happened to him

Just a few days before, I’d posted a story on FB about a daycare that left a 3yr old at a park and didn’t miss her until her parents came to pick her up. Then, I let this happen.  Just recalling the that day gives me chills!


Has you little one ever gotten away from you in a public place?



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