On Wednesday of last week my Kdg. son did not come home on the school bus.
Now, if you're a mom ... or dad ... or even know a kid, this is the kind of thing that should be reserved for nightmares and not reality ... and I'm sure my hair is now a few years closer to gray because of it. In retrospect, I'm amazed that I didn't instantly freak out. And as it turned out I was actually pretty calm (not my natural state in crisis situations.) After praying, I called the school (no answer), the bus barn (no answer), (continued to pray) and then called my husband to let him know the situation.
I remember a second of feeling paralyzed not knowing where in the world to start looking--the idea of the entire countryside was overwhelming! But then it came to me to call my son's best friend from his class who rides a different bus home to see where he last saw him. (And as it turned out he was wonderful help!He knew that he was in the "in town" line for in-town kids.) My husband in the meantime had called the sheriff to report him missing. (which may seem like a bit of overkill until you consider by the time I expected him home on the school bus AN HOUR had passed since he was released from school!)
I was reassured by the fact that we had gone over a plan for him to follow just in case something like this ever happened. And as it turned out, there had been a bit of miscommunication and my son thought I would be picking him up after school. And with this information I drove like a very careful madman to town and found him playing with the other kids at the school waiting so patiently. (I was so glad to see that there was an adult monitor on the playground for the kids who wait even longer for their parents to return from work.) When I got there I gave him a big hug, relieved that he was safe and alright and back in my arms ... and seeing his brave little smile made me feel so relieved ... and then he almost instantly melted into tears knowing now that he could let down his guard and be a kdg. again. He was being SO strong but I know he was SO worried on the inside on what he was going to do.
And after, we called the sheriff to let him know he was found and we all regrouped as a family being thankful that this story had a happy ending and so very thankful that God had his eyes over the entire picture. Thankful ... oh so very thankful!
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