So this weekend we celebrated yet another birthday! Yes, they come in waves around here. When my journey through motherhood was still new I did the big birthday parties. I spent days getting the house ready, planning the menu, cooking the food, entertaining the crowd and then in a blink of an eye the party was over and I had days of cleaning to recover from it. Lately I have taken to giving the children a choice. So, I asked Dyl Pickles if he’d rather a party or to go to the movies. The cost would be about equal, so I was all for a day out of the house.
Blondie was only 35 minutes late getting home so I started the voyage in a bit of a stressed mood, but I was determined that we’d still have a good time. It turned out to be fine when we realized the movie start time was an hour later than my son had told me! Maybe he did that on purpose, if so, smart thinking son!
We got settled into the movie; I had my purse full of candy. (Yep, I’m a sneaker. The only way to keep my crew quiet all through a movie is to keep passing out the snacks.) Life was good. Then my nine-year-old told me he was going to sit closer to the screen. I don’t know if he wanted to move because he forgot his glasses or if it was because he just wanted to get away from all the little people surrounding him, but either way, off he went. We live in a rural area, so even when we drive to the city to do things, it’s a small city. It’s pretty safe. I didn’t worry for a second.
About 30 minutes went by and my husband asked “where’s Tucker?” “Down there,” I pointed. He walked down the rows and quickly came back and said “he’s not there, where is he?”
I could tell my husband was panicked, but I wasn’t worried at all. “He must’ve gone to the bathroom, go look!” A few minutes later my husband reappears “help me find him!” I could see that he was truly worried, so I left the theater with him to search for our son. We checked both bathrooms. We checked the other theaters. We checked the arcade. I went back out into the mall and looked at every spot where there was a game to play or candy to buy. I started to worry.
Nothing! He was no where to be found. My husband demanded that the manager check the cameras of the theater. “Great, she gonna see my purse full of candy,” I thought. She didn’t take him seriously enough, so we found the mall cop. He called the real cop who patrols the mall. As I waited for him to arrive I started to get scared. This child wouldn’t wonder off. He’s not one to stray from us. And all I could think was that maybe someone grabbed him.
Great, of all my children to be kidnapped why does it have to be the one who always thinks we don’t love him? He’d probably think we set it up as many times as I have threatened to sell him to a real zoo. I could feel my heart pounding as I told the officer how tall he was, what color shirt he had on, what kind of shoes he was wearing…
The other children came out of the theater. Blondie and her boyfriend went one way. Dyl Pickles went another. I guess once Mom cries, everybody gets busy! Next thing you know, Blondie found him. And where was he?
Yep, right where he told me he was going. I guess when my hubby looked he didn’t see him laying down across a few empty seats. Immediate relief was quickly replaced by utter embarrassment. I couldn’t believe I was starting to panic, and that I had pulled all these people in to help me search. Better safe than sorry in a case like that! I can’t help but think we must have looked like crazy people at the movies with 7 kids, and we lost one!
That’s still not as bad as the time my dad lost me in El Paso, but I guess it was bound to happen that we’d eventually misplace one of them! Of course Dylan said it best on the way home. “Mom, you should know Tucker wouldn’t go without a fight.” Which is true, he’s not scared to stand up to anyone, so if someone grabbed him there would at least be a commotion. And Dylan is also right that after a few hours with him, they’d probably bring him back, with condolences! On the bright side, seeing the panic on my face let that little boy know that no matter how unfair I am when I make him do his homework, clean his room, read his book, or wash his dog, I really do love him after all.