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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hyperventilating

As is typical, I was in the kitchen this morning getting Little Miss ready for school. Prince Charming was upstairs getting dressed. The boys were watching TV in the living room with our neighbor's son. He had come up to catch the bus with our Little Miss, who was in the kitchen with me at the time. The TV was on in the living room, and it was just loud enough that other noises in the house were drowned out. 

While I was signing Little Miss's agenda for the day, Prince Charming came downstairs and into the kitchen. When he asked me where our little devils were, I responded that I believed they were in the living room watching TV with our neighbor.  When he immediately started calling out for Miracle Man and Chub-Chub, I knew they were no longer entranced by the television. So where were they? And WHICH cereal box had they dumped now?? 

Our calls to them were met with no reply, and we suddenly realized that they probably had escaped to the greater outdoors. Prince Charming rushed outside screaming for them. But still there was no response. I continued to check indoors, but the house was waaay  too quiet, so I, too, rushed outside. 

Outside, Prince Charming continued to call for the boys and finally found Chub-Chub, who popped into view at the bottom of our driveway. He stood there, dumbfounded while Prince Charming asked him where Miracle Man was. However, Chub-Chub didn't respond and Miracle Man was nowhere to be found. 

Naturally, PaNiC coursed through my body as I shouted directions to Little Miss and her friend. We all split off in separate directions, running all over the front and the backyards, SCREAMING for Miracle Man. 

I headed to the backyard slipping and falling down the hill en route, but I didn't see him anywhere. Not on our play set. Not by the mud that he frequently trapses through (despite my begs and pleas to steer clear of it). He wasn't on the hill by the porch. He wasn't by the fire pit. Where WAS he?????????

I ran up the hill in our backyard to the bottom of the driveway. I couldn't see him anywhere. I stood there in my own private hell looking down at our yard and the surrounding woods and lawns, the panic rising up in me. He could be anywhere...In the woods, wandering any neighbor's yard...he could have gone onto the road. I had no idea where to look next.    My baby was    missing.

As I was hyperventilating, I thought to myself where would Miracle Man go? If I were him, where would I be? What are his favorite places to go to outside? 

And then it hit me. There is a path through the woods that we and our neighbors had cleared between our two houses this past spring. He always likes to go down the path to go visit their house. He Loves  them.  And I frequently have to chase after him down the path to keep him in our yard. Sometimes he has even made it down to their house before I've caught up with him!

I raced down the hill, screaming his name. But I heard nothing. I was thinking of all of the possibilities. He could be in their yard, in their breezeway, on their front yard, or...on the road on that side of the neighborhood.  

The same road where this lovely family, who have now become part of our family, had lost their beloved puppy this summer to a car racing up their hill. A very tragic end to a sweet dog. A terrible day etched in my mind forever. The day that my daughter, having spent the night at their house, came home shrieking about the accident. The day that I ran down to find my friends distraught while they looked on as their best friend struggled to breathe, bleeding on the driveway. The day I helped lift her into the car and drove my friend and her cherished pup to the animal hospital to try to save her. The day that we cried and sobbed together because of someone else's careless mistake. A driver going too fast in a neighborhood filled with children and pets. The day that can never be done over. This is what flashes through my mind as I head to the path, praying to find my boy there, and not  in the road.

As I reached the beginning of the path, I didn't see him. And my heart sank. Oh my god. How will I ever find him? 

But I had been gazing straight ahead with my eyes focused on their house. And just then, I scanned slightly downward to where my little boy was. His shirt blending in with the leaves, not a sound did he make. He was just standing there. Not a care in the world. Looking at me like, "what's going on?" My little man who is always in his own world. He had no idea how worried we were. And he was completely unaware that we were looking for him. He never responded to his name, never made a sound. 

As relief streaked through my body, I scooped him up and held him tight. My baby. He was okay. He was safe. Right there on the path. 

I screamed to everybody else, "I have him! I found him!" Cradling him like a baby, I raced up the hill to Prince Charming and Little Miss. As my spastic cries started choking out, the bus arrived to take Little Miss and her friend to school. 

The look on her face as she rushed off to her bus with her friends wrenched my heart. She hadn't yet come down from the panic. And now she was headed off to school. Thank goodness teachers are so caring and loving. For I know that her teacher will comfort her and ease her mind just like I would have, had we had another moment with her before school.

I think I lost a few years off my life today. But I'm so very thankful that Miracle Man and Chub-Chub are alright; and that we have a happy ending to our story. 

I guess door alarms don't work too well on storm doors when the front door is open to watch for the bus!

Thanks for reading,
A Much Older Marathon Momma


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