Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Lost Him.

I have heard from several people in town the past 2 days asking if "Blake" was the missing child the policemen were looking for Sunday night.
And to answime.  her for long stretches of ter that question: Yes. Yes he was.
I lost my son.

Ugh.  Even just typing that causes the hair on my neck to stand up, reliving the terror the hour that he was missing. 
He was playing with the neighbors cat, Phil.  Phil and Blake are buddies.  They can sit and entertain each other for long periods of time.  My in-laws just left after a day of celebrating Leah's birthday.  I walked them out.  Then returned to the backyard to see Blake and Phil still playing, in the middle of the yard.  I returned to the house to help see Jerad off before his night shift at work began.  I then returned to an empty backyard.  Silent.  I yelled a few times.  To no response, which is normal.  Blake is non-verbal for the most part.  But on occasion, after some hollering for him, he will pop his head up out of the tree house or from behind the trees...or out of the garage.  And my heartbeats return to normal pace.  But not today.  I did a quick search and both gates were locked, no doors were open on the house.  But I did a quick search of the house as well. I even had the girls do a second time over the house--every closet.  Pantry.  Small space he could possibly climb into.

I moved outside the yard, thinking maybe he got through a small crack or fence opening I wasn't aware of.  I yelled..."Blake!"  "Blake, buddy!" 


I walked a little faster.  My heart picked up pace. My throat got drier.  My neighbor heard me hollering and offered to help look. He picked up on my panic.  I told the girls to stay in the yard.  I was going to look around the busy street that runs near our house...praying to God he didn't make it there.  On my way to the street, I noticed muddy foot prints going up our chain link fence....and I realized he had escaped...add climbing over a fence to his list of goals achieved in his PT goals for the last year.

The reality that he had escaped was almost paralyzing.  20 minutes had passed.  Still nothing.  I began knocking on neighbors doors...of course, no one was home this evening.  No one to ask if they'd seen him.  I made another loop around the cul-de-sac and the neighbor who was helping me met me in the middle and said..."you better call 911..."

I had debated it.  I didn't want to sound like over-reactive mom.  I kept thinking he was probably just hiding somewhere. 

So I made the call.  And within minutes several squad cars were in our driveway.  They scanned the perimeter...just the sight of them evoked wild thoughts in my mind.  Was this going to turn into a missing person case?  Did someone kidnap him?  What if we don't find him by dark?  Will he be scared?  Is he crying somewhere?

I had to keep it together though.  Leah, who already runs high anxiety, can sense my stress a mile away...so I took some deep breaths.  Swallowed my emotions and answered all the questions they had.  I stood in our yard with my arms around the girls...trying to call Jerad so he could come home and help.  Feeling helpless.  Praying my heart out.  Another neighbor showed up to help.  Praise God for our neighborhood. 

Almost exactly an hour after the call went out.  Right as I was telling Jerad to come home now.  I hear the call over the radio..."We found him.  We found him."

And I sighed a breath of relief...breath I wasn't even aware I was holding in.  I took off running toward the backyard...he had gotten a ways away.  Almost a 1/2 mile.  Playing in the mud and water near a water spill off creek.  And I gasped again, thinking of the worst.  Praising God that wasn't the end, in this case.

I look over the top of the hill and I see him kicking and wiggling in the neighbor's arms...covered from head to foot in mud...he caught eye contact with me from 200' away and he grins real big and waves his little heart out.

Not having a clue the terror he caused me the past hour.  He was happy as a lark.  Playing peacefully in the mud and water.  And I'm guessing chasing the cat, Phil, all the way from our house.

I scooped him up and squeezed him...muttering under my breath "I don't know whether to spank your little bottom or squeeze you to death."  The police officers followed us back.  They interacted with Blake in a loving, fun way.  Giving him stickers.  Chatting with him.  Giving him high-fives.  I answered the rest of their questions and they went on their way.

This is every mom's worst nightmare.  Since then, I have tried to think of 1000's of ways to thank those who helped us.  My neighbors.  The policemen and women who showed up.  The fire department.  There isn't a topic list on Pinterest that says "best gifts for thanking a neighbor who finds your lost son"...

I am laughing about it now.  Still not sleeping well.  But starting to laugh.  A little.  All the while I am looking up tracking devices for kids like Blake...who have no comprehension of stranger danger.  Busy streets.  And staying in a backyard.

And thanking a God who looked over my son, and will always look over these special ones. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Day of May

May Fete Cheer Performance at MHS

Blake enjoying the May Day Parade. Ha!

Waiting in line for the Midway Motors Inflatable Robot!

Classic slide faces!

Holding hands with Mimi and each other on stroller ride to get Snow Cones

Face Painting at Madathon-May Day festivities


Bubblegum Sno Cone-first of year!
The first weekend of May always represents All School's Day in McPherson.  It is a huge event and the kids look forward to all of it each year.  Performances, parades, shopping, Sno Cones, Inflatables, petting zoo, Madathon, face painting--it is a HUGE community event.

On our way...

We walked to the park, leading the way with our stroller.  Blake pooped out early.

He may or may not have pushed a few kids off to ride this when he wanted...

We called this the Spider Web of Death for 4 and 5 year olds!

 Blake had his end of PreK picnic at the park on a rainy day.  

Leah had field day that afternoon after Blake's picnic, so we rushed back from the park to catch her in action.  Here they were playing melting tag...if you got sprayed you had to melt to the ground until your teammate whacked you with a half-swim noodle and woke you up.

Blake saying his end of school goodbyes to the school therapy dog, Cooper.

Leah's school BBq we had to celebrate inside because of rain.

Preschool graduation!!!

Blake getting his certificate of graduation from his teacher, Mrs. Robinson

Post-grad selfie!

Blake and his Para Miss Cosgrove.  He is so stinkin' cute!
His dance moves.

Then I had a surprise birthday party for Leah Friday night.  She was so mad at me hours before this because I wouldn't let her have a friend over, go play with the neighbor kids, or do anything fun...boy was she surprised when we pulled in the driveway after gymnastics and saw all the cars...she said, "I'm going to explode, I'm so happy!  Everyone is here for me!!" (with her hands clasped over her mouth in shock)

Then we loaded up after having pizza and opening gifts and headed over to pick up her friend to stay the night.  They went to open gym at gymnastics where they flipped, cartwheeled, did cheer stunts, jumped on the trampoline and wore themselves out.

On her actual birthdate, May 16.  She woke up early after going to bed very late...of course!  Played in the rain.  Played babies and school with her friend.  Got to take her earrings out and put new ones in, since it has been 6 weeks since she got them pierced.  And much more to come...

Other events not pictured... Leah told the older woman who runs our school crosswalk everyday how much she loves the way she puts her red lipstick on her teeth. Said she's never thought to do that with hers... LOL never a dull moment.

Autum threw away all the flossing sticks she got at her first dentist appointment, came downstairs crying that night mad, because the dentist lied.  I asked her how he lied and she said, "this DOES NOT taste like frosting!!"  (holding up one of the floss sticks)   Now I know why she kept begging all day to "frost her teeth!"

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Those invites..

Those invitations I get in the mail.
The ones I would love to go too...the jewelry parties, the tupperware parties, the wine and shop nights, the baby showers, the bridal showers, the graduation parties, going away, retirement, any type of reason to celebrate invites.  Ya those.

I plan to be there.  I do. I open the invitation.  Put it on my fridge between the food stains, kids creations in art class, grocery lists, dental appointment reminders, and the poison hotline magnet.  I have every intention of going.  I look forward to it.  I love socializing. Celebrating.  Interacting.  I'm out-going that way.  I will even purchase a gift for it, in most cases.

And the day arrives. Much like today.  I wake up thinking about what this day entails, tentatively plan how it might go, and get after it.  And then the first child wakes up.  Dragging her blankie.  In her panties, and her little bum crack peeking over the top.  In all her squishy cuteness, she opens her mouth with the first words of the day being, "whhhaaaaaaa....."
And I clench my jaw a bit, getting a glimpse of what my day with her is going to most likely be like...

I shush her whining to avoid waking the others, by getting her some juice and turning on her favorite cartoons and sitting a minute.  But it's too late...big sister comes downstairs in her robe, sleep still in her eyes, hair across her face....pointing her finger at little sis, she mutters something about "sheeeeee woke me up eeeeeaaaaarrrrlllly....uuuugh."
And my jaw tightens a little more-knowing this child didn't get her sleep she NEEDS each night. And this could teeter either way as to the behaviors that may erupt from her freckled-face being.

And I make my way downstairs to check on little brother.  I hear him moaning and groaning like a bear cub just coming out of hibernation.  He is stimming...by the rhythm of his moaning, I can tell he his banging his head up and down, trying to self-soothe. In and out of sleep.  I'm praying he hasn't been doing this all night.  I whisper to him to snap him out of his stupor...he sits up quickly, rubs his little eyes and looks at me.  He crawls out of his bed tent and I say "good morning! Let's go potty then we will go eat..." And you would think I told him he was getting his teeth pulled...he crumbles in one place...I mean melts to the floor in one little blob...moaning "nooooooo, nooooo"...in his gruff little whiny voice.  Oh boy, so I'm 3/3 today with grumpy children.

I say few quick prayers and prepare breakfast.  Well, my first observations were spot on and the whining, grumpy, over-tired, entitled behaviors continued...all the way to church, through church, and post-church.  All the way to the park.  Lunch, and the quick walk home because of the melt-downs.

And it's at that point, I call it.  We will not make the shower.  The party.  The celebration.  The social gathering.  We just can't.
It would be too much for my little family to handle.  And one step closer to this mama losing her cool.  And there is still a lot of daylight left.

So I turn down the invite again.  Yet, put another stamp on that gift I was hoping to hand deliver, but will utilize the mailman to make the delivery instead, UGH....again.  It seem to be a theme at this point in my life.  I have to make the call.  What is best for my family.  And that means choosing them over parties...most of the time.  For now.  As much as I dislike having to make that call.  It is nothing personal, please know.  When I RSVP I'll be there and then I have to make a last minute decision to bail.  I apologize ahead of time.  I truly do want to be there.  So don't stop including me.  Don't stop inviting me.  In fact, just knowing I'm wanted there, somedays is the boost I need to keep moving, functioning, and trying.  To not feel forgotten or given up on.

So here is my apology.  I'll be there, someday.  To celebrate something.  I will! I promise.  Just at this point in my days, the odds of me being there are lesser.  But I'll be back.  Don't count me out yet.  

Most girls ride with their dolly's in their bike baskets, this girl rides with pancakes.

Bright purple eye shadow and epic trampoline hair.

Our Saturday night date nights.

Playing "mailman" with Mimi in Papa's new shop.

One of his many personalities. Always guaranteed to make us laugh, though.

He is nearly dressing himself now.  Shirts and socks are only struggle.

This girl needs the swimming pool to open ASAP.  Right now the bath has to make due.

Dinner dates with Baby Luke via FaceTime.

Sorting my tupperware drawer is how we work on shapes, bigger than/smaller than statements.

Leah was Sacagawea in her 3rd grade project at school.  She did great! And chose Sacagawea because she got to take her baby doll to school!

Her display board we worked on all weekend.

With her proud brother and sister after her Wax Museum presentation.