Thursday, August 21, 2008


One of the things we did recently was go to the fair, which is just so fun. We ended up with my great aunt going along-we always park at her house, and meeting up with my sister and three of my cousins and their kids for a while. It was fun.

We had gone through the animal barns and were headed towards the midway to get drinks and snacks and sit for a spell.

We had just gotten the boys these frozen kooler things, kind of like a slushie, me a sweet tea and were headed to get Tim a sausage sandwich. Tim and I each had a stroller and Eli & Noah were walking and eating. We rounded the Sausage stand to sit at the tables. Tim went in line and I was getting Noah and Simon and Jesse situated when I realized I didn’t see Eli. I asked my aunt where he was, but she didn’t know, I looked for Tim; he was standing in line to get a sausage, but no Eli.

My heart skipped a beat. I left my aunt with the little boys without saying another word, ran up behind Tim and without stopping said, “We’ve lost Eli!” I kept going, back to the other side of the sausage vendor’s trailer where I knew I had last seen Eli.

Tim turned and headed back the way we had come to see if he turned around thinking he got ahead of us; I ran ahead thinking he had just kept walking, hoping he hadn’t turned at the intersection where the sausage stand was.

While I was jogging through people I was looking at the parallel walkway in case he had gone that way. I knew we had lost him at the intersection by the sausage stand. I had no way of knowing if he had turned when we did or not, but my gut said he didn’t.

Then over the PA I hear, “We have a little boy at the mike stand,” with relief I turned around before I even heard the rest of the announcement and started running to the mike stand, “His name is Eli ____ and he’s looking for his mommy.”

They had no more than finished the announcement when I saw him standing there. He saw me and his sad face turned to relief instantly. We hugged a big hug and thanked the mike stand people feverishly! They said he was just standing there in the intersection where he lost us.

Then they made an announcement saying the little boy found this Mommy so people wouldn’t be worried. I knew Tim would hear that and head back to the family.

The mike stand is right across from the sausage vendor where we were, and if I was lost that’s where I’d go to the mike tent, but Eli can’t read and didn’t know where the mike stand was, which is why Tim and I took off in opposite directions.

Apparently what happened was Eli was busy eating his kooler thing and hadn’t seen us turn by the sausage trailer and go on the other side to the tables. He couldn’t see us and didn’t know which way to go so he just stood there, looking sad and just barely starting to cry.

Tim was standing in line on the side of the sausage trailer where he and Eli couldn’t see each other. Since the mike stand tent is right there by the sausage trailer they went out into the walkway and brought Eli over so they could make the announcement. About that time is when Tim and I came from the other side of the sausage trailer looking for Eli, but they were around him asking his name and we couldn't see him.

He was doing exactly what we trained him to do until they stepped in to help. Our rule for getting lost is, if you get lost, STOP! I’ll come back to the last place I saw you and you’ll be standing right there. We need to really stress the not going with anyone unless they are a police officer-what if they mike tent people had been "bad" people? I shudder to think.

Once I had Eli and we were walking (holding hands) back to the table with my aunt and the other boys, I started to cry. I had lost Eli and he was so scared; I was so scared. I’ve never lost one of my kids in a place like that before. I was also thankful my aunt was with us so we could just take off to look for Eli.

With the trauma over, we finished our snacks and the boys wanted to ride a ride. They pick this ride every year. Every year Tim gets in there with them to make it go fast. Every year Tim acts like he doesn’t want to, but he does. And the boys love it that their dad goes with them and they go faster than any of the other dragons!

Jesse of course is too little for things like that, but he entertains himself by sucking on his toes.


Jessica said...

Losing a child is my biggest fear. I'm so glad it turned out okay. So scary!

McBorn said...

It can be so easy to get lost at the fair. I was looking for you around that time and I didn't find you, but like Eli, I'm not great a finding people through crowds of standing people. It is funny that the mic tent people finding him made him harder to find. And you still had a good time.

Deanna said...

I lost Char at the mall once and I was running up and down the halls screaming her name...and I was in tears. It's a horror like I've never experienced, so I'm sending a big "glad you found him safely" hug.