Panic. Calm. Repeat.
I missed his first call. He called right back. I answer.
“He’s missing! The police are coming.” The panic in my husband’s voice tells me this is no joke. I race home. The police arrive minutes after me. My husband fills us all in.
“I had just gotten him ready to go pick up the other kids from school. I brought the stroller out the front door. I didn’t lock the door when I came back in. He was watching TV. I went to lock the back door. I got his shoes. He wasn’t watching TV anymore. I called him. I kept calling him. I started to search the house. Then it hit me. I didn’t lock the front door. He must have slipped out in the minutes it took to lock the back and get his shoes.”
I get back in my car. I’m panicking and it’s hard to think. I tell myself I can’t panic right now. Time is ticking. I need to act smart. I start to drive around the side streets of our quiet neighbourhood. I see one of the police officers that were at my house, parked a few blocks up the street. I pull up behind her. We talk and decide to start looking in backyards. She goes one way and I go the other way. I’m yelling my son’s name and going into backyards. Some people come out of their houses and ask what’s going on. I tell them, and everyone I meet on the street to look for my son.
“My son is missing! He’s two! If you see him, grab him and call the police!” Panic starts to set in again. My mind is flooded with all kinds of horrible scenarios. I freeze. I don’t know what to do or where to go. I just keep yelling his name and looking.
I hear a faint voice I recognize. I start running. I get to another side street and look up it. I see a neighbour about a block up the street, and behind her, another block up, I see what looks to be the police officer carrying my son. I run to them.
From the worst feeling ever, to the best. My son was back in my arms.
It happens to a lot of parents. I remember doing it to mine. It happens so fast. As in any crisis, thinking calmly and rationally is your best defence against danger.
I would like to thank the Smiths Falls Police Service for all their hard work and quick response in helping us find our baby. I would also like to thank all of our neighbours who came out and helped look, and everyone who came out of their house to see what was wrong and help. Today, I am more Smiths Falls proud than ever before. This is a wonderful community and safe place to live, where neighbours are never strangers and no one ever hesitates to help when they can.