Today we went to the Fall Festival. I had never been before and was pleased with how nice it was. There were games for the children and a nice sized craft fair for me. Okay not much for the dads but there were fire truck rides. The only disappointment was they ran out of pumpkins before we picked ours. Oh I tried earlier but hubby thought the .50 price was too high. MEN!!!!! So by the time I convinced him that that price was a steal, they of course were all gone.
After the festival ended we all went to the playground and the kids had a blast. How is playground this nice is so close to my house and I didn't know about it? There was a merry-go-round, huge slide climbing set, a smaller slide climber, a jungle gym shaped like a train, two swing sets and bouncy toys to ride. WOW!!!!! Patrick and Brianna had a blast!!! We even made friends.
Well while sitting there watching the joy of my children I noticed a little boy wandering around and asking the grown ups something. When he got close enough I could hear he was lost and looking for him mommy. He was asking everybody "Do you know where my mommy is?" He knew what color purse she had. One woman tried to help him but had two little ones of her own that needed her attention. Dennis was watching the kids so I helped the boy.
Okay the park is a nice size but not big enough that I can't see most of it, maybe all of it. No parents are franticly looking for a child. I know I looked around. I took the boy to the area with the highest concentration of workers and adults. The food pavilion, on the way I got some description of the mom and luckily ran into a police officer. I left the boy with the officer. Before I left the police officer asked the boy what his mom's name was and he didn't know. I asked the boy what his daddy calls his mom and we did get a name out of him then, but as I left a last name was still unknown (?).
I kept an eye on him and also noticed a woman sitting at a picnic table talking on her phone. As she got up the color purse she had was I thought the same color the boy said his mom had but she was far away and I wasn't sure so I watched her. She walked to her car, opened a door did something, closed it, walked slowly back toward the playground. She was still on the phone.
Meanwhile the police officer is walking up to groups of people and asking if anyone was the little boys mom or knew who she was or where she was. Finally the boy saw the woman on the phone and happily announced this was his mom. He ran to her and he was so happy. She still was on the phone and really had no idea why he was so happy. The officer walked up to her and said "Mom, your son was lost." I didn't hear any more but the impression I got was the woman was very unaffected by the incident. The police officer shook his head and walked up to me to thank me for my help. He said this was common; many parents just don't get it.
What if I didn't lead him to that officer? The boy was walking in the complete opposite direction than his mom was sitting at. We were close to the river, close enough that he could have wandered there. Plus there was a creek near by. Not to mention anyone could have been there. If that boy followed me no questions asked to the pavilion he would have gone with anyone I think.
He didn't know important information. His moms name, phone number or address. I try to make sure my kids know that information, but this really showed me how important that information is. I was most upset by the moms seemingly lack of concern. I watched her. She never, even after her son found her, no idea that he was lost. He child was missing for about 15 - 20 minutes and she was happily talking on the phone and obviously not watching him.
This has obviously affected me to write about it. I am full of panic if I don't see my kids for a minute and I sometimes think I am to paranoid. Now I know that I'm not. I teach my kids what to do if they get lost or separated from up. I also do all I can to make sure that doesn't ever happen. I never want to be that mom talking on the phone who has no idea that her child is missing!!!!!!!!