|For almost 2 hours, I thought this would be the last pic of my baby|
We had just walked up from the beach to one of the "strand tents" as they call them here in Holland. It's basically a temporay retsuarnt/cafe on the beach. We had met some friends and we were kissing them hello (good excuse not to kiss anymore) and my four-year old vanished. It was that fast.
I have to admit I am a hawk when it comes to my kids and have been criticized by some that I need to even let go, give my babies more freedom. So when my baby boy disappeared, one can imagine how hard I began beating myself up.
I immediately looked around the outdoor cafe, in every nook and cranny that I could find. No snot nose anywhere! My heart began to beat so fast and the panic started. I ran over to our table and told Baby Daddy and he said "Don't panic, we will find him." Ok baby daddy said not to panic, I won't panic, this is his country he knows. So I thought fast and went to the manager of the restaurant and told him my son was missing.
The manager pulled me behind the bar and into his office and immediately called Emergency Services and reported my son as missing. Because I am psycho paranoid Mama, I was able to give a very detailed description of his clothes and even that he was barefoot with his jogging pants rolled just under the knee.
So within 10 minutes of the last time we saw him Dutch Baywatch (with temp crew member Baby Daddy) was out combing the beach for my lost baby boy.
Meanwhile, I was at the restaurant with our friend and her 4 month-old baby. I sat there for a few minutes and the panic started to creep into my thoughts again....I had to do something. The restaurant had dispatched a few of its staff to search the beach so I decided to go out on the beach myself. I couldn't just sit around and wait.
I frantically asked everyone in the restaurant if they had seen my precious and then journeyed out on the beach. And that was when it hit me...my son had been missing for one hour at this point. Kids who get lost on the beach or run off are found by now. I knew the stories. I knew the stats. And I knew my baby was out there somewhere all alone or even worse...someone had taken him. Then I thought to myself, no one would take him it's Holland, its safe. But then again no one is really safe anymore.
I chocked back the tears as I thought about the last time I held him and smelled his fluffy blonde hair. I thought about his little mischievious giggle and his obsession with sharks. I couldn't be brave any longer, there was a chance that I might not ever see my baby again, ever.
I began to think about the parents who have missing children that they never find and I couldn't imagine going through the rest of my life with that feeling, that uncertainty. I began to blame myself...if only I hadn't turned my head to say hello to my friends...if only I had't agreed to meet them here...if only we hadn't come to the beach...if only I had been a better mother. I couldn't breathe. Someone had my baby and I would never see him again...
I wandered up and down the beach asking everyone I came in contact with and with each passing person my hope was diminishing. I tried to stay positive but as I made my way back to the restaurant I felt like I was going to die. I just wanted to skip ahead in time...or I wanted to go back and do things differently so my little boy was safe in my arms.
My stomach began to feel sick and I was about to collapse into a weeping ball on the beach when I got a call from Baby Daddy: Hallelujah, Luca found HIS way back to the restaurant! My baby was safe and waiting for his Mama!
But instead of being overjoyed...I was angry! He FOUND his way back! WTF...he told my friends that he never left the restaurant (which later I found out was a lie). He was unaffected by his disappearance act...he was amused...no trauma, no lesson learned (because he did it again the next day in the park!)
I am sure my "newbie parent" friends thought I was a B-I-T-C-H because I didn't immediately cuddle my baby boy...instead I started in on him. Matter of fact, it took me about an hour before I could hold him. And I was still shaking two days after the incident and today I am still traumatized to tears when I think about what could have been. The first thing I did when I got home was eat a pint of chocolate ice cream. Screw all the emotional eating therapy...Mama was traumatized.
The positive thing is that by talking to other parents about it, I found comfort and I also found out that it takes maybe even weeks to recover. AND after almost two hours of beating myself up for being a bad mother realizing that I'm not a bad mother, it happens to even the best parents. But I will go back to my neurotic, psycho surveillance of every move my babies make until they are from under my roof! I would rather be a psycho then ever having that feeling again of a mother who has a missing child. Matter-of-fact, I think i will just "chip" my kids like the do for cats in this country...maybe a GPS chip...And maybe one day I will set them free, but in the meantime it's psycho for me!
- Missing kids on the beach walk with wind and sun behind them
- Holland has an amazing child rescue system
- It's hard to stay positive in a real-life situation
- Drill your kids on your address
- Teach your kids a plan if they are missing
- Unconditional love: You can love and totally want to ring your kids neck at the same time
- Not to judge parents who keep their kids on a leash
- Really read the missing kids adverts
- Count my blessings everyday
- Kiss my babies everyday and cherish every moment