Scary movies got nothing on losing one of your children in a park while it's dark.
Last night was Princess O's last volleytennis game. (we lost) We were the visitors at a park we don't usually go to because the kids who frequent it are older and the profanity is flying. The playground is situated directly behind the stands that are next to the court where the game was being played. Daylight savings kicked me in the ass again because it was already dark before the game was over.
DH let the boys play on the playground, which made me very nervous as it got darker. This playground has no lights around it. None. The boys were playing in the dark with some other kids, a couple of them older. I didn't feel good about it, anyway, so I kept turning around in my seat to see how they were doing. Everything was going okay. The game was getting good. I didn't check on them for a few minutes.
Professor X came over to the stands to ask DH something and I turned to see where Mr. M was. I couldn't see him. I told DH and he asked the professor, "where's you brother?" at which point the professor pointed at the playground and then froze. We all stared for a few seconds waiting for Mr. M to appear, but he didn't.
DH and the professor walked (walked!) to the playground. I thought maybe Mr. M was hiding. He's done that a couple times, although we told him to stop. I saw DH start walking faster. He grabbed Professor X by the shoulders and said something to him. Then he started calling Mr. M's name.
That was it for me. I flew off the stands and began searching. We're all calling his name. DH is running toward the street looking at cars. Professor X is searching the playground. I'm frozen, just calling his name over and over, in disbelief this is real.
Then he appeared from behind me. I grabbed him by his arms and told him, "Don't you EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER do that again!!!) I was crying. Mr. M started crying. Professor X ran over to us and was crying. DH ran over and was visibly shaken. Apparently Mr. M was thirsty and decided to walk to the water fountain which is on the opposite side of the court, totally away from where he was supposed to stay. He says he asked the professor to go with him, but X was playing and refused. (The professor refuted this hotly, but who knows)
Has that ever happened to you? Oh my God. My legs were shaking. My hands were shaking. If we weren't at a game with so many people, I would have been bawling like a baby. He was gone for long enough that my imagination kicked in and started the story of never seeing Mr. M again, something horrible happening to him, or just never knowing where he disappeared to. Ugly, ugly feelings.
I didn't let him leave my side after that, and he didn't want to. He realized how badly he scared us all. Even DH was past being angry and just thankful to see him. Such a scary, horrific few minutes. I know I will never forget this. I know that one day Mr. M will have kids and I will tell them this story. Mr. M will experience something similar and remember that night at the park. These few minutes will remain burned into our memories forever.
Thank God there was a happy ending.