I’m home from work today to care for my 6 month old grandson so I have lots of time to think as I go about different cleaning tasks at home. I thought back to a day, it was about 15 years ago and I was a stay at home Mom with my four children. The boys were already school age 10 & 8 and my girls were 5 and 2 1/2 . We had planned a trip to go shopping after school to get some new shoes for the boys and a few other items so I told the boy not to ride the bus home the girls and I would pick them up from school. We live in a town of 400 so the nearest town to buy shoes was 35 miles away. It was time to pick the boys up from school so I drove to school and parked the car right about 20 feet from the front door, and I went inside to pick up the boys.
The boys and I got back out to the car and I asked the boys “Where are the girls?’ They said, “We don’t know, they weren’t in the car when we got out here.” I said, “Well maybe Anna had to go to the bathroom and Christy took her inside to go.” I went back into school and checked the bathroom, but no girls. Then I went back outside to see if maybe they had gone to the school playground but they weren’t there either. I went back into school and feeling a little panic by now and went into to the elementary classroom area to look to see if they would have gone there but they were not there either. I went back to the car to see if they had come back to the car but the boys said they had not.
I went back into school and told some of the teachers that I couldn’t find the girls and at that moment the school staff mobilized and started searching the school and others went outside to search. One of the teachers said he would get in his car and drive around town to see if he could see them walking anywhere. No luck. They called on the intercom for the bus drivers and asked them to check their buses to make sure the girls hadn’t wandered on any of the buses before they left the school grounds. It had been about 15 minutes and still no girls and everyone was still looking. I was out in the school parking lot walking among the cars with a friend when I thought I had better call and tell my husband that I couldn’t find the girls. At that moment I was standing next to a good friend who was helping me look for the girls. I grabbed her shoulders and said “I know where my girls are!” She said, “Where?” I said, “They are eating lunch with their Dad at the café, right where I left them.”
There was only a half day of school that day so the boys ate lunch at school before I picked them up and the girls and I were eating lunch at the café with their Dad. They weren’t quite finished with their lunch when it was time to pick up the boys. My husband said, “Why don’t you leave the girls here so they can finish eating and go pick up the boys and come back for the girls.” I left to go and get the boys…Needless to say I called off the search and with great relief and embarrassment drove the boys and I to the café to explain to my husband what took so long.