The resurrection of an old post for Writer’s Workshop

One of Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop prompts this week is to write about a time I feared for a loved one.  Since I’ve shared about 1 too many stories of my pregnancy and my twins birth (which of course was a time where I was really fearful), I felt that this story was the next best thing:

It’s a given. Some times I HAVE to share parenting stories. Some times I feel compelled to.

Like today.

I haven’t started going grey. Yet.

I have a feeling that with what happened yesterday (this happened almost 3 years ago) that might change.

I’m a pretty laid-back mom. That hasn’t always been the case, but having 5 children that at one time were 5 years of age and under changed all of that.

My goal went from being….well, I’m not sure what my philosophy was back then-I can’t remember. But, it changed. I started trying not to sweat-the-small-stuff and instead focus my break-downs/freak-outs on the big stuff. I did formulate a bottom line. I want to keep my kids ALIVE and out of harm until they fly out of my nest. Happy too. I want them to be happy and feel loved and be safe. That’s my bottom line.

My youngest. And my second youngest. They’ll be the death of me. I swear. Never in the history of mothering my other children have I been so worn down and stressed out. I’m pretty sure that from the moment that little fertilized egg split (which was later than I would have recommended, by the way), those little boys put their heads together and plotted. Plotted ways of changing me (they’ve successful done that-but in a good way for the most part) and making my hair turn prematurely grey. For kicks. I think they somehow know that their pregnancy, premature birth and growth thus far has made me a more thankful mommy than I was before but also a busier one, and for years a sleep deprived one. But one without grey hair. Surely some of my locks should have turned a silvery shade by now, and up until yesterday, they hadn’t, and I’m pretty sure that’s about to change.

Yesterday number 5 of 5 disappeared on me at Target while I was making my purchases. One minute he was there, the next he was Gone. Gone. Gone. Not only did he slip past me, he slipped past 4 of his siblings. It happened so fast that I thought there was no possible way he could have made it out the doors, right into a busy parking lot. No, I didn’t even consider it. The first thing I did was station number 1 of 5 in front of the large panel of electronic doors with orders to stop 5 of 5 (I’m borrowing this number system from the original Octamom) if he should try to go outside. Then I promptly alerted the Target employees that I had lost a child. Luckily I had 4 of 5 so that I could say, “I’ve lost my son and he looks exactly like this (pointing to 4 of 5)”.

I fully expected to find 5 of 5 at one of the candy endcaps. You know, the one’s that are right by the registers that kids can’t resist?

And then the worst thing happened, and also the best. The best thing that happened is that a man walked inside the doors of the store holding 5 of 5′s hand. This wonderful man knew who John belonged to (I guess we are pretty hard to miss) when he spied him outside all alone and afraid. This thoughtful man took John by the hand and said, “Let’s go find your mommy”. And John took his hand and was safely restored to me, inside.

The worst thing is that John was outside. In a busy parking lot. And he’s three years old. He was outside while his stupid mom was inside looking for him by the candy. A stranger took his hand and told him what he needed to hear. Luckily, that man was was a good person and did what he promised. BUT. What if he didn’t? What if he didn’t? John would have happily held his hand and let the stranger lead him anywhere, if he thought it was to me. He could have been hit by a car. He could have been abducted (he IS cute, you know-I could see why someone else would want him). And I was inside. That’s why I think I might go grey.

Nothing happened. The situation turned out to not even really be a situation. But it was, because thinking about what could have been makes my knees go weak. And quite possibly my hair grey. We’ll see. Yes, we’ll see.

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About Angie

Angie is a CRAFT dabbling, recipe making, WORD loving, sunshine hording, book DEVOURING, Mama to a lot! She's kind of in love with Instagram right now, so if you want her attention, go find here there. {smiling}


  1. Oh. Em. Gee that is soooooooooo scary!!! My kids ran off together at Target this week too but only in between the clothing racks and I found them a minute later. Talk about grey. I def. lost a few years off my life.

  2. From what I’ve heard, a lot of parents have had this experience, sadly.

  3. WOW that is scary! And I can’t even imagine reliving it 3 years later! I freak out when either one of my boys runs off!

  4. That feeling, in the moment when they are absolutely lost, is the worst in the world. I am so sorry you had to go through that, and I hope that little one never scares you like that again!

  5. Oh man, I remember that feeling. You feel so helpless and terrified. When Blake was 18 months, we were out shopping. I had him in his stroller, but had forgotten to buckle him. I turned to one side to look at an outfit and boom, he was GONE. We were right at the entrance to the Mall, so I took off that way and sent my husband deeper into the store. Fortunately, he found him – standing at the top of the ESCALATOR! 2 seconds more and he would have been riding it all the way to the bottom. Little stinker!

    This is why I DO have grey hair!

  6. It must be a really scary experience. I had one also this year when my #2 boy went missing while my mum’s maid was suppose to have been looking after him within eye range.. found him at a kiddy ride at an extreme corner of the building.. was fuming mad with my mum and the maid… never let her touch the boy ever again.

  7. It is so scary when you realize your child is missing. I had the same thing happen in a museum when my daughter was only little. It all happens in a second. Your head fills with all sorts of horrible thoughts. Thankfully we found her… 2 floors up!

  8. Alright, Angie, your nothing happened situation that was three years just made me burst into tears today because the *what-ifs* are too much to even consider. I freak out when I can’t have eyes on the kids & they’re all so innocent they just don’t get WHY you need to stay with Momma & Daddy. Man, these kids don’t know the level of love we have for them do they?

  9. I hate that kids have this ability to do that. One second they are there and the next they are gone.

  10. This summer I took my 4 and 2 yo to a huge annual fair. Lot’s of people, lots of potential distractions. I lost sight of my oldest for a brief moment and it was the scariest moment of my life! It probably lasted all of 10 seconds but it FELT like forever.

    I am a firm believer that some kids just need leashes 😉

    Visiting from Mama Kat’s

  11. I can’t imagine trying to keep track of five! I have trouble grasping one!

  12. So scary

    if there is a way to make a horrible situation seem funny the line “Luckily I had 4 of 5 so that I could say, “I’ve lost my son and he looks exactly like this (pointing to 4 of 5)”. that made me chuckle a little.

    We are heading to Disney in a few weeks and the whole large very crowded park with kids thing kinda terrifies me. I bought some cute luggage tags at Dollar tree and was telling hubs how I thought it would be a good idea to attach one to Abby’s belt loop so if god forbid something happened she has our info. To which he replies “If you loose my daughter I will never forgive you” as if I am planning on loosing her!

  13. That is so scary! When my daughter was three, she crawled back into the big boxes of the diaper display at Walmart. One minute, she was standing right next to me. The next minute she was gone. The store called Code Adam, and we searched for her for 30 minutes. She finally got tired of watching everyone look for her and came out of her “fort.” That explains my gray hair!

  14. I had a moment like this. I felt like I was starring in a movie with Sally Field. It was gruesome. Take a breath, shower way too much love over all your children, and promptly forget about this incident. The “what ifs” can kill you.

  15. That’s scary – even if it was 3 years ago. It’s scary to think of what might have happened. My mother has always been paranoid (rightfully so, since this world is a crazy place!) and when I was 3, she lost me in the store – same thing, one minute I was there, the next I was gone – but the man who was ‘helping me’ was leading me away from my mom, not towards her.. It’s a good thing your little boy found a good person to help him. 🙂
    Stopped in from Mama Kat’s.

  16. I have lost my daughter so many times in stores, but only for a moment, until I spy her around the corner of the next aisle, but children do take off, out of stores, so very often and they move so very fast. It is very scary I agree.

  17. OMG! How terrifying!
    I disagree with the “what-ifs” killing you, and to promptly forget this. I think that scares like this can make you stay on your toes!
    Remember, Adam Walsh disappeared out of a Toys R Us.
    Not that you aren’t on your toes with 5 kids!
    I only have 2, my hair isn’t gray, but it’s FALLING OUT!

  18. Oh, that is scary! And I totally understand. I have been there too!!!

    I am visiting you from mamakat’s, though I have been following you for quite some time. I wrote about the same prompt and would love for you to come and read mine too!


  19. Stopping back by to say thanks for visiting my blog- and to answer that my dad is just fine! He and my brother and sister recovered very quickly. They weren’t affected as drastically as my mother. Thanks so much!!!

  20. This is my fear every single day. I am so parranoid about leaving my kids alone. There are strange and horrible people in this world and I would die if one of them took my kids. I am glad you found him and that there are still some good people around. Visiting from Mama Kats

  21. Yikes!!! I missed this one…but man I have been there and it is SO scary!!

  22. Holy schnikies Angie!! This one got my pulse going. But it did restore my faith in the human species a little. God bless that man.

    I did have a good giggle over you ability to point to 4-0f-5 and say he looks like this. Thanks for the reminder to update the pictures I have of the boys in my wallet.