I began this website with the encouragement of my friend Amy, who is usually the recipient of all my “Can you believe what my son just did?” calls. Amy has two gorgeous and perfectly-mannered girls, so I like to give her a taste of how the other half lives. We named it “Acts of Davis” since I had another friend question whether my homeowner’s insurance covered Acts of Davis. The name seemed perfect for a blog about how my younger, male child is attempting to slowly drive me bats. I have been very honored and humbled that a couple of people actually read this thing. Lately, some readers have commented that I have mentioned Katie and Scott in my last few entries, but not Davis. I get “When is Davis going to do something worthy of the blog again?” a lot.
Well, folks, Davis has struck again. For five of the worst minutes of my life (besides the time I attempted to watch Crossroads) my son was missing. As in, sound the alarms, lock down the place, we can’t find a kid, who saw him last, honest to goodness missing.
We had training for Vacation Bible School at my church tonight. In an inexplicable fit of absolute weakness, I agreed to help out with the 18 month old class. They’re cute, they’re cuddly, and I can give them back to their parents hopefully before they need a major diaper change. I love that my children are getting older and more independent, but four mornings with some tiny people seemed like a good idea. So I was down in the parish hall, attending a class for adult volunteers when Katie showed up at the back of the class. That’s odd, I thought. She should be upstairs in the nursery with the other kids. Why is Katie down here? My friend Angela turned to me and said, “Davis is missing.” I stared at her with what I can only assume was a stupid look. “Vaiden, DAVIS IS MISSING” she repeated, hoping that I could somehow recover my mastery of the English language.
For anyone who has ever lost a child, even for a minute, you know the feeling. Your legs are churning at the speed of light and your mind is racing even faster. We had been discussing child safety at our meeting and the next portion was concerning—wait for it--- child predators. I was frantic. I passed other people also searching, both inside and outside. If you were one of those people, you have my heartfelt thanks for looking for my son. Even as I was making laps outside and inside the church, I knew that it would all turn out all right. I knew that even Davis would have enough sense not to leave the church. One of us was obviously going to find him soon. Still, the dark thoughts were also there – what if someone had taken him from the playground? What if someone had come into the church? It was Wednesday night, and most of the doors were unlocked. I know as a parent that anything can happen, and nobody gets a warning before it does.
I had done one lap inside the church and was finishing up my outside lap when someone came out yelling that Davis had been found. I can’t begin to explain the relief that washed over me. From what we can piece together from various sources, he had seen Scott pull up outside to pick him up, and he apparently came in from the playground, dodged the nursery, and went downstairs to find me to let me know it was time to go. With no adult to tell him no, he rode the elevator, which is normally taboo for my children. The elevator was so much fun that he decided to make a few trips on it. So while half of my church was branching out looking for him, he was blithely riding the elevator up and down, oblivious to the mayhem he was causing. My church only has two floors, however, so eventually the ride had to stop. He was found wandering a dark hallway after he had taken a wrong turn downstairs. The entire incident took just a few minutes, but for me, it sure seemed a lot longer.
Scott took the kids home and I stayed for the remainder of the meeting. Also, when I sat down I didn’t think my legs were going to hold me any more, and I didn’t want to get behind the wheel of a car just then. When I got home, Davis was safely tucked into bed. I climbed in with him, knowing that he and Scott had enjoyed a LONG discussion on never running off without your parents. EVER. I reiterated this point as his eyes began to close and he drifted off to sleep. His parting comment, just as unconsciousness took over, was
“I knew where I was.”
That’s four-year-old boy logic if I ever heard it.