Was weird. And sad. And scary. And makes me a little angry too.
Let me get to it...
So, it's about 8:30/quarter to 9, my kids are in bed and I'm sitting at my dining room table scrapping. It's a nice night so I have my front windows open. All of a sudden I hear a little voice saying "Daddy! Daddy!" It was playful sounding at first. I thought maybe someone was playing hide and seek. But then again the voice was really little. I hear it again. " Daaaaaadddy! Daddy!" I had the thought run through my mind to get up and investigate. But I didn't. I sat in my chair and continued what I was doing. (feeling really guilty about this now) Certainly a little person would not be outside at 9 o'clock at night alone....would they? I can kind of see the street from where I'm sitting and all seems quiet. I didn't hear the little voice anymore and I figured all was well.
About 20 or 30 minutes later there is a knock on my back door...my garage door. I had left the garage door open so the turkeys could have some fresh air. It's not too unusual to have someone knock on my back door around here. We're all pretty friendly neighbors and I thought it was just my neighbor, Mike coming to tell me the garage door was still open. Well, I open the door and to my surprise there is a police officer standing there. My first thought was oh snap. we're gettin busted for having 18 farm animals inside our garage. Yeah the turkeys are still here. But that's another story, for another day. "uh..hi.", I said. "Hi. Do you have kids?" the officer says. "ummm yeah", I say. I'm thinking did Jake leave all his toys in the middle of the street or something? What's going on?? "Are you missing one?", the officer says, "a little girl?" My heart skipped a beat. "no, my kids are both in bed", I say. He asked me if I knew my neighbors very well and asked if I knew anyone with a little girl. It was all starting to click in my head now. That little voice I'd heard earlier wasn't someone playing hide and seek. That little girl was lost. My heart sank. Everyone I know on our street has boys. Lots and lots of boys. And the girls I did know were old enough to find their way home. The officer asked me to walk down to the corner to see if I recognized the girl. There were 2 police cars, a security vehicle and about 20 of my neighbors all standing around gocking at her. I'd never seen anything so sad in my life. This little girl was maybe 2 or 3 at the most. And she was scared out of her mind. I think she'd actually gone into shock. She sat there on the lap of a neighbor and was just sobbing. She wouldn't speak. Wouldn't tell anyone her name. Wouldn't even look at anyone. Everyone was just standing around not knowing what to do.
Something in my brain clicked again and I asked the officer if he had checked every house on my street. There are two houses at the other end of the street that have lots of kids, I hadn't remembered seeing any little girls, but it wouldn't hurt to try. I walked the officer around the corner and showed him the two houses I was thinking of. It turns out I was right. Or well that my gut feeling was right. The officer walked down to the corner with the mom and dad and they were reunited with their little girl. I was a sobbing mess. I felt so horrible for that little girl. She was still so scared but happy to see her mom and dad. I was so glad we were able to find her parents.
Now here's were I get a little mad...The parents had NO IDEA their kid was missing. None. She'd been out alone for at least 30 minutes before anyone found her. And it was probably another 30 minutes before we found them. How do you not know your kid is missing? What were you doing? I thought of the scenario that maybe she was sleep walking or something and woke up and found herself outside. I suppose that could have happened. But she wasn't wearing a nightgown or pj's. She was fully dressed...in a party dress with her hair done and everything. Maybe she fell asleep in the car on the way home and mom and dad forgot and left her in the car? When she woke up she got out of her car seat and out of the car? I guess that could have happened. But I don't know what happened. I don't know the situation. But I know that she was gone for a good hour and instead of the parents looking for her, we had to find the parents. Something about that just doesn't seem right. I know things happen, but good grief.
I'm glad all things worked out. I still feel really bad for not going with my gut and investigating that little voice when I heard it. I keep thinking I should have gone out there. I could have helped her long before she was really lost. Why didn't I go out there? Could you imagine being that little and calling for your daddy and no one coming to your rescue? And being outside all alone in the middle of the night? My heart aches for that girl. I just can't stop thinking about it.
So. That is that.
I went upstairs and checked in on my two munchkins and gave them an extra little kiss. So thankful they were safe and sound in their beds.