Okay folks! This one here's a long one. So jump in, hold on, and enjoy the ride. And, don't forget to take your personal belongings with you when you leave--everything except for your comment, that is--an honest answer to the question at the end of this post. That, I would love you to leave here! Muchas gracias in advance.
Here we go!
I live in the desert. No, people here don't have cacti or rocks in their yards, but we certainly do our fair share of praying for rain and when the stunning Rocky Mountains aren't covered with snow, they turn a lovely shade of brown that makes me homesick for Ireland. Wait! I'm from Arizona. I've never even been to Ireland. Doesn't ancestry count for something? And, isn't England--where my ancestors are from--close to Ireland? And, isn't England green anyway? So, by very close association--ancestors from England and their proximity to Ireland--I have green fever in my heritage. Right? But, I digress. Whoa! I am really off topic here, but it is important to know that I live in the desert, because we all love when the 100+-degree summer weather fades into fall, dropping in Fahrenheit and raising in coolness, which is what happened today. And, we especially love a good rainstorm, because--in addition to the much needed moisture--that means we know what we are talking about when we use the phrase "On God's Green Earth."
Long intro short, it rained today. It even hailed for a few seconds. But that wasn't all...
10 Minutes Before the Rainstorm
Red Rover and Chatter Box said they were going down to Tator Tot's house to play. The Potato Head Family are great friends of ours and our kids play together often, so when the boys mentioned they were heading out the door, I didn't give it another thought.
10 Minutes Later
THUNDER. LIGHTENING. RAIN. HAIL. Did I say LOUD THUNDER?
I opened the door to see the sky opening, pouring pearls of moisture on our scorched grass. Drops fell so consistently, I was tempted to reach my hand out and part them like clear, plastic beads in the doorway of a 60s teenager's room. I took in the sound, the smell, the breeze as time stood still under the
45 Minutes Later
For 45 minutes, T-Daddy drove through the neighborhood with no sight of the boys nor their bikes anywhere. At home base, I called every person I could think of. I asked myself: "Where on God's Green Earth could these boys be?" (See how this phrase can really come in handy?) In an attempt to enlist the semi-professionals, I tried calling the people who were in charge of the emergency phone tree (apparently, the jungle was on vacation too, because no one answered).
At about 40 minutes, I seriously debated whether or not to call the cops and kicked myself for not participating in the local child identity program, where they take pictures of kids to help in these kinds of circumstances. I mean, Elizabeth Smart doesn't live THAT far from here. So, maybe that means that an abduction is even more likely? (I actually thought that!) I was about ready to call my own Amber Alert when T-Daddy suggested one last family to call.
Sure enough! My boys were at this gal's house right as the storm was hitting. They had such a great time playing that they didn't even hear the thunder. They had parked their bikes in her garage, which were impossible to see from the road once she shut the door to keep the water out. What I didn't want to hear was that she had wanted to call us, but we recently changed our cell phone numbers and she didn't know the new ones--neither did our kids nor any of the other neighbors. SMART! That meant we had to take some accountability. I hate that!
My question is: When do you call the cops? What if the boys had not been at this neighbor's house? What if the unthinkable had happened? A lot can happen in 45 minutes. It made me think and wonder? So, now I put the question to the blogosphere of mommies... what would you do if your child went missing?