I’m not exactly sure why, but I am enjoying spring this year more than I ever have. The sun is doing wonders for my soul.
Nick and I had a fairly typical morning. A few puzzles, a trip to the grocery, and a homemade smoothie. But because it’s Spring! we also cleaned out the car and dropped off our recycling.
After our busy morning, we both waited eagerly for his bus. He loves going to school and I had lunch plans with a friend.
Then I noticed a little boy at our neighbor’s house. We have new neighbors as of a few weeks ago and there are no children living there, but there have been children visiting with various family members, so I assumed that was the case as he walked up to their front door.
But then he walked back into the grass, crossed over to our yard and walked up to our door. I started asking him where his mom or dad was since he was no more than 3 years old and appeared lost. I ran back to the neighbor to ask if he belonged there, but an older boy told me he did not.
By the time I got back to the front he had gone two more houses down and was out of sight. I ran down there (while telling Nick to wait for his bus) to try to find him since I was guessing he was heading the wrong way.
A man was cutting grass 2 doors down. When I got his attention he took out his earplugs and I asked if he had seen the little boy. He said he hadn’t but that he would let me know if he did. I was pretty sure the boy had already passed him and was likely at least another house down.
Just then, the bus pulled up (stopping at our neighbor’s house since Nick had started trailing me.) I asked if they had seen the boy but they hadn’t. So with Nick safely on the bus I decided to get in the car and drive in the direction the boy was heading. I was afraid to put a child in my car if I found him, but couldn’t let him just keep wandering.
I grabbed my cell and called the police to tell them what was going on and as I was talking to them, the grass cutter walked over holding hands with the boy.
Whew. OK, at least he was safe. That was a huge relief. Uh, for me, anyway. His parents had to be going crazy. The police were on their way, so we just hung out in the front yard. I figured he belonged somewhere nearby, I just didn’t know where.
I asked him his name and he said “DiDi.” That was about as far as our conversation got. He kept motioning to the neighbor’s dogs. After about 4-5 more minutes, I saw a car coming down our street going very slowly. We walked out toward our bench so they could see us, and sure enough, it came right to us. The boy’s mom was driving and as soon as she pulled into the driveway she started to sob.
DiDi was very happy to see her (though he hadn’t been the least bit unhappy the while time he was “missing.”)
After they reunited, I could tell she wanted to get back home, but since I’d already called the police with a missing child in hand, I didn’t want to be childless when they got to me. I called dispatch back and they reiterated that we should all stay put. So after a bit of small talk I found out they lived about 7-8 houses down from us and DiDi was in fact, not quite 3 years old. He had slipped out while his mom made lunch and workmen were going in and out.
A couple minutes later, two police cars pulled up. The policeman was nice. He asked us both questions and took our information. He was tough yet gracious with the mom, though not mean at all. He did tell her if her child’s whereabouts where ever unknown that her first call should be to the police. He told her the police and fire could be here in minutes walking the neighborhood and if they had gotten a call of a found boy, they would be able to reunite them quicker.
All of this took place today within a 35-minute window of time.
I went to lunch with my friend, although we missed out on her favorite tater tots – we figured a human tot wins every time.