Tuesday, November 06, 2007

today I lost him

I love my childrens' school, I truly do. They aren't an "A" rated school for nothing, after all.

This school has really brought Bob into his own. He is confident, happy, and more than willing to excel in anything they throw at him, and when he does, they keep throwing. He doesn't get bored here like he did with his old school, they keep him occupied.

With Bumpo they are always patient and kind to him. He has a tendency to forget about his school work and socialize a little too much with his neighbors, or the teacher, or anyone within a two mile radius. They are always able to get him back on track and he too has really grown over the last three months. I can't sing this school's praises more, really, they are awesome.

There is just this one tiny little problem. . . . . Actually, it's more like this huge GIGANTIC problem that is causing me to doubt the entire staff.

Today when I went to pick up my children, I was told that they could not find Bumpo. That they hadn't seen him. That he wasn't released with the parent pick-up crowd (I usually pick them up from school, even though we live right next door, because I'm usually coming from work and barely have time to make it to the school.), so they got on their little two-ways and determined that, in fact, he had been released as a walker, by himself.

All. By. His. Little. Five. Year. Old. Self.

Knowing full well that he has a brother in third grade, who when the rare occasion arises that they do walk, always stops by to get Bumpo, and then they wait, FOR ME, if for some strange reason, I'm not already there, waiting for them, which I don't think has even happened this year.

So, I'm told this and completely freak out because, sadly, this isn't the first time they have lost my youngest. I was told about a month ago that he had already been picked up, when in fact, he had been taken inside for a bathroom break. Which of course, took a long (probably the longest) FIFTEEN minutes to straighten out and find him.

Anyways, so after I receive the news that they let my little five year old son, walk home, ALONE, I madly drive off, thinking the worst.

"The older kids that walk home, they're so rough and mean."

"Bumpo, he's never been outside without me."

"Will he remember to look for cars before he crosses the street?"

"Will the other kids leave him alone, or will I find him beaten to a pulp in the woods somewhere."

"Will I even FIND him?"

"Oh my god, where in the hell is he?!!"

All of these thoughts, plus a million others while tear after tear fall from my cheeks.

I call Tim in hysterics and tell him the grim news, that I have been searching for what seems like forever for our youngest son and I can't find him, ANYWHERE. That Bob is out, looking in the woods, and asking around while I walk on foot around the complex. I can't even think straight anymore.

Tim promptly makes plans to leave work and help in the search.

Then, while I'm screaming in the phone to Tim, it beeps, another call has come in and it's our apartment office, I click over and hear what I fear I'd never hear again. The sound of my sweet son's innocent voice and I melt.

Turns out, a friend of Bob's, is also a walker, his grandmother picks him up. Well, she thought something was up when she saw my tiny son walking home without his big brother, and walked with him. She took him to our door, and of course I wasn't home, I was at the school trying to pick him up, so she took him to the office to call me. I don't know how I'll ever be able to repay her, or thank her enough. Because of her, my boy was safe. She was there for him when I couldn't be. I don't know how you can possibly thank someone enough for something like that.

Looking back, Bumpo was probably only "missing" for about five minutes. But, it was the worst five minutes of my life. It was also an easily avoidable five minutes. And that is something that isn't as easily forgiveable. They are supposed to keep track of these children. It's their most important job!

Tonight I'm left wondering just how easy it would be for a predator to get ahold of one of these kids. Sure, they take their precautions. They have their system. But they've already lost my son on two separate occasions, and he's in Kindergarten, which they seem to guard more than the other grades. Just how easy would it be for someone to get a hold of . . . say. . . my older son. The one who is the fiercely independent third grader?

I have every intention on sitting down with the principal and anyone else who will listen tomorrow and discussing my concerns over this matter.

Because, I can promise you this, if there EVER is a third time, we won't be having a calm rational conversation. They'll have to deal with one pissed off mommy, and that won't be pretty, not to mention, it probably won't accomplish much of anything. So lets hope we accomplish what we need to tomorrow and that there won't be a need for another meeting after this.

Now, off to the Internet to find that much sought after bubble. Hopefully they'll have one in Bumpo's size.


Amber said...


I'd be beyond pissed off. Can't they put a permanent note in his file that says, "can only walk with brother" or something? GEEZ! Very scary!

I lost Ray once in a department store when he was two. I think for 10, 15 minutes? He was right next to me, playing amongst the clothing racks and next thing I knew, I couldn't find him; he was *gone*! So scary. Then I began to call for him, then louder, then LOUDER, then notified a clerk who notified security and they locked the doors of the entire store; no one was getting in or out, period.

All I remember is a buzzing sound in my head while I just freaked out. What was I going to tell his dad? What was I going to do? How could I bear this if someone had taken him? I paced with my arms folded, just...shaking with fear. Then I heard him from far off, crying. I ran in that direction and there was an elderly woman with him; she'd found him in the furniture department. I grabbed him up and we were both crying and that kind woman said something about how glad she was he found his mommy and then she left!

I never even thanked her! :(

Anyway, yeah, freakin' scary when you lose your child. Terrible feeling.