That Day We Almost Lost Davy

In almost 10 years of parenting, I can only think of 3 times when I have been truly terrified for my children’s safety.
Today makes it 4.

I was making lunch today and it was unusually quiet.
“Can someone find David?” I called.
Lilly and William went in search calling, “Davy! Daaaavvy!” as they walked around the house.
They went into the backyard and a minute later called, “he’s not out here Mom!”
Trying to quell the nervousness that was rising in my breast, James and I joined the search, calling Davy’s name.
I looked in every room, the closets, the bathtub, under the beds, and on the top bunks.
I looked in the garage, the playhouse and Aaron’s studio.
The kids were doing the same thing, all of us calling his name as our search grew more frantic.

I am a bit OCD about keeping our back gate closed.
I am always on the kids to make sure the gate is shut and check it multiple times a day.
None of my kids have ever wandered off.
But the gardeners were here today, and even though we all stay inside when they are here, and they are very careful to close the gate , I thought they must have left it open at some point, and Davy slipped out with no one knowing,
I don’t panic often, but I started to panic.

The big kids were still searching, yelling Davy’s name, and calling out to me, “I’m praying right now, Mommy!”
I could hear William crying
I ran across the street to my neighbor’s.
He was standing outside with his son and a Triple A mechanic.
“My 2 year old is gone ,” I almost sobbed,
All 3 Looked at me, utter expletives that were perfectly fitting for the situation, and started to run to their cars.
“What’s he wearing?” they asked as they were all climbing in.
A diaper. Just a diaper.

As I was calling 911, all I could think of was that I was a terrible mother.
How could I let this happen?
I hated myself.
Would the police declare me an unfit mother because I let my 2 year old wander away in a diaper?
Would I still be allowed to home school?
How would we live without Davy?
It is amazing how slow time moves in an emergency, even though everything is really happening at   the same pace as usual.
I felt like I was underwater, and drowning.

Before the 911 operator even picked up, my boys called from across the street, “we found him! We found him !”
“Thank God! Where is he?” I almost screamed back.
“In your bed, under the covers!”
“But I looked in there! I called his name !”
“He’s asleep Mommy! He’s ok!”
I waved my neighbors back and told them we found David.
And I walked back into my house, fell onto the floor, and just sobbed.
There are few things in this world more horrible than not knowing where your child is.

The big kids gathered around me and we prayed a prayer
of thankfulness to Jesus.
And then, through my tears, I praised them.
For not panicking.
For praying while they were scared.
For continuing to look for Davy even though we had looked everywhere.
And for finding him.

It shook us all up.
It was a good reminder to us all how precious we are to one another.
Sometimes we get frustrated and annoyed at each other, but how much more do we love each other!
I am not much of a drinker, but man oh man could I go for a stiff one right now!
And holy cow can David ever sleep!
This parenting thing is not for wimps, is it?
I’ve never been so glad for happy endings.

8 thoughts on “That Day We Almost Lost Davy

  1. Alyssa

    I know this feeling well. It sends shivers down my spine reading this. I lost my daughter at Disneyland on a very busy day when she was 2. She’s very social, and we’re were in a play area at Toon Town, and she ran after a little girl leaving that area. Other parents saw me panicking and helped me find her. She was holding a cast members hand in the middle of the street. After I found her we sat on a curb and I held her so tight and just sobbed. Brings tears to my eyes thinking a out it.
    I’m so glad this ended in such a way. Hold you babies tight today.

  2. Denise

    This post was painful to read because I have been through this a few times with my kids. The worst was one Saturday at the soccer fields. Our game was over and we were gathering all our things to leave and I couldn’t find my 4 year old. No one in our group knew where she was. The fields were emptying quickly and there was no sign of her. I will never forget the terror I felt. I was shaking from head to toe. Finally a woman approached leading my baby by the hand. She had left the gated fields and was walking down the sidewalk in search of us. I have never felt such gratitude and relief in my life. I’m thankful your story had a similar happy ending. I’m going to go give my now 13 year old a hug and thank God again that she’s still here with me.

  3. Marchelle

    I’ve been there twice Greta. Both times with my Grace. Still have a hard time talking about these events. God has given me so much. I’m so thankful for your happy ending today. My cup runneth over as do my tears. ((hugs))

  4. Mom

    I can feel your panic and am just sick with the idea that something terrible could happen to anyone of our precious grand children. Kristen and I prayed for safely on our drive home from your Aunt Mary’s in CV……and as always I prayed for our family!!!! I love you all so much.

  5. Joanne

    Oh Greta, I had such a similar situation with my Rose at Mom’s house in Seattle – She and a friend went into the neighbor’s house and I totally was freaking out. John (my brother) went looking in the car – the neighbor’s girl was missing, too. Oh I know exactly how you feel, haha! And then to find them safe and sound – a mom can not escape the panic and the thousand things that run through your head when your child can’t be found. God bless you – I’ve heard it said that it takes nerves of steel to be a parent – it’s true!

  6. Betsi

    Oh Greta! I know this heart-stopping fear. When Isaac was 2 he got up from a nap, unlocked the front door, quietly shut it behind him and was off. Thankfully a kind Hispanic lady two blocks down found him and went knocking on doors until someone recognized him. I am so grateful for her! You did such a wonderful job with all of your kids in this situation. You’re a wonderful mother.

  7. Brooke

    I have tears in my eyes reading this cuz I lost my 2 year old not once but twice this month! They are quiet as they disappear from sight! even though both were at different homeschool events, which have generally have nice families around, he was found in the parking lot! Crazy kid! Emotional mother! I hear ya sister!

  8. kimm Crandall

    Oh, Greta! This made me weep! The thought of you losing Davey, the thought of me losing one of mine, and the reality that when it comes down to it, we all really do love each other. It is in those moments, when we are at our weaknest that God is so good to uncover the truth of our hearts. As a friend just told me the other day, “The real flavor of the tea bag comes out in hot water.” This couldn’t be more true.


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