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11.15.2006

Because My Heart Just Completely Stopped

You know when people say their 'blood ran cold'? That really happens.

Today was the first day with my secret agent babysitter. I sat down at my desk with my latte in hand and began writing a post referring to what a lovely feeling it was to know my daughter was happily playing while I was freely working without interruption.

That is, until they COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED.

It happened like this.

Savannah came into my office alone and asked if she and Lindsey could play in the front yard. I wasn't thrilled with the idea and asked what they were planning on doing. She said play with bubbles.

AND THEN I SAID THIS. (Listen closely, because she did not.)"If. You. Go. To. Anyone. Else's. House. Let. Me. Know. First. Okay?". She agreed.

About twenty minutes later I noticed it was starting to get dark outside. Then I wondered why I had not heard a single playful peep from the open windows right behind my head since they overlook the front yard.

So, I decided to go downstairs and see if they had changed their minds about going outside.

You can see where this is going, no?

They weren't downstairs. I went out to the front yard. I looked up and down the street. Nothing.

I went back in the house and looked around downstairs some more. They weren't in the living room. Or the family room. Or the kitchen. Or the bathroom. They weren't in the backyard.

I went back out front and over to my other neighbor's house (we know exactly two neighbors -these people and Lindsey's family).

"Did Savannah and Lindsey come over here by any chance?" "No."

I now walk over to Lindsey's house, completely 100% sure now that they are there. I'm even a little irritated that they left without telling me. Until Lindsey's dad says "No, they're not here. Aren't they at your house?".

He runs upstairs calling Lindsey's name to double check. I go back outside and look up and down the street, which is empty except for two boys playing basketball half a block away.

Believe it or not, I am still not panicking at this point. Which if you know me outside of this blog you'll know is a huge deal. (I once had a complete panic attack because my shoelace was untied on an escalator.)

I run back over to my house and run upstairs, thinking SURELY they were up there the whole time. Not in Savannah's room. Not in my room. Not in the bathrooms or playroom or laundry room or office. I am now full-on running. And screaming their names.

WHERE CAN THEY BE?!

I race back outside and yell to Lindsey's dad that I can't find them. He immediately calls his wife. This freaks me out even more.

I am now standing on my front sidewalk.

I have been looking for my barely-five-year-old daughter for almost TWENTY MINUTES.

My heart is in my throat. I look around. I search cars passing by with wide-eyed panic. My head is on a swivel.

"This is how it happens" my head says.

"Shut up. Stay calm." I say to myself. But, I'm out of options.

"A day like any other day."

I am shaking from head to toe as I race down the street. Headed where, I don't know. I am screaming their names. I don't even recognize my own voice, it is so shrill.

"And your life is forever changed."

No!!!

I start to cry. I'm still running. What am I going to do next? Call the police? Call Chris?

And then I see two little silhouettes walking toward me on the sidewalk from about 20 houses down. From a friend of Lindsey's. A distance 20 times further than my daughter has ever traveled on our street in her life.

I run to them. I hug them. I yell at them. I cry and cry.

Three hours later and I'm still shaking.

I think the babysitting is off to a great start, don't you?

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