It’s moving day today. I’m sure that I’ll tell you all about it later on twitter, so be sure to follow me there.
It’s also my eldest’s birthday today. He has reached the ripe old age of twenty-five. In honor of his birthday, I thought I would tell a story from his younger years.
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It was shortly after he had turned ten. We were into winter by then. The snow was piled high along the curbs thanks to the snow plow.
My boy had been at a friend’s house, playing. The friend lived just a few blocks away, so we let him walk home alone. It was one of the first times we’d agreed to it.
We were expecting him home, but he hadn’t arrived yet. After a call to the friend’s house confirmed he had left, my husband took a walk along the same path he should have taken. When he didn’t find him, we called the police.
My husband was out searching high and low for him. People from the neighborhood came out to join in the hunt for my missing boy. At home with my two-year-old daughter, I was wringing my hands and pacing the porch waiting for the police. I was terrified that something terrible had happened to my son.
When the police arrived, they did everything you would expect the police to do, and I hated them for it. They took down some information and asked for a recent photo. They asked so many questions that all felt irrelevant.
I was distraught. They weren’t doing anything to find my baby who was out there somewhere as the sunlight faded. After what felt like an eternity, they finally went out to look for him.
It was a police officer who found him. He told us that he had seen the boy lying in a pile of snow on the side of the road. It was one of those mounds left by the snow plow.
The officer said that he’d slammed his car door as he exited the vehicle hoping to catch the boy’s attention. He told us that he’d called my son’s name loudly as he approached. When the boy didn’t respond, he was forced to reach out and touch him. I cannot imagine what it must have felt like to be that officer at that moment.
Fortunately, my boy was only sleeping. On his way home from his friend’s house, he came across a snow bank that looked particularly comfortable. He was dressed in snow gear and thought he’d be plenty warm. He’d laid down to give it a try. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep.
My son can sleep through just about anything. He’d slept as my husband walked by him, calling his name. He continued to snooze as people from the neighborhood joined the chorus. Even the officer’s loud approach hadn’t stirred him. He’d been happily frolicking through dreamland while I’d been wearing out the tread in the carpeting back home.
His story has a happy ending, and we can all laugh about it now. Others haven’t been as fortunate. Visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to learn more.