There was a time where my oldest at one point in time, decided that going on adventures meant leaving the house at all hours of the day and night. After his first outing, we put alarms on his windows, added extra security to the doors, and set up cameras to track his every move.
He managed to bypass the alarms, the door locks, and didn’t even bat an eye at the cameras throughout the house. So we began to jerryrig the alarms on the windows with super glue to keep them on, wood glue, any type of glue really. He found a way to get passed that.
However, it was on one fateful afternoon, where he decided to go on an adventure that I wasn’t ready for. Not mentally and especially not emotionally.
It was already a bad day for him. His emotions were at an all time high that day, and him being non-neurotypical, meant Cat 5 hurricane status tantrums. After a few hours of screaming, crying, and complete destruction; I was finally able to lay him down for a nap.
I waited a little bit to make sure he was asleep and went to take a much needed, long and hot shower.
30 minutes, maybe a little more passed and I exited, towel wrapped around my body. I was immediately greeted by silence – what most would welcome, but not in my home. Silence, unfortunately, is usually a bad sign.
I put on my clothes and headed towards his bedroom. Where I was eloquently greeted by a wide open window and a kicked out screen.
My heart in my throat, my stomach in knots, I rush to my car and drive to every single playground in the neighborhood we lived in. I could not find my son. 30 minutes had passed and panic began to set in.
My neighbors stopped to ask me what was wrong, and soon the entire block was out looking for my son. I sprinted towards the intersection we lived by, praying that my son injured, or worse, killed.
There was nothing.
I sprinted back, phone in hand – on the phone with 911. At this point 45 minutes had passed and my panic had turned to paranoia and fear.
Where is my son?
The 911 dispatcher calmly asked me questions, my words choking beneath tears.
“My son has been missing for an hour now, I can’t find him and he’s special needs.”
She asked me for a description of the clothes he was wearing, and I gave her the best description I could. The entire time my mind was racing…
Did someone take my son? What if I can’t find him? What if he’s hurt and needs me?
20 minutes pass, I’m inconsolable.
Suddenly an entourage of police cars pull down my street and in the backseat I catch a glimpse of my little boy, staring out the window in tears. I rushed to the police car, immediately opening the door.
My hands forcefully checking his every ounce of skin.
“Are you okay? Were you hurt? Where were you!”
My questions met with shrugs and head turns.
I remember the kind officer telling me the war story of his adventure, and all I did was bust out laughing.
The officer pulls out his Michael Jordan lunchbox. Inside was a neatly packed, very dull, 1.5 inch pocket knife, a pair of socks, a pair of underwear, and half of a set of earbuds.
The officer was insanely concerned at the fact he chose to pack a pocket knife. Since apparently he could have seriously injured another child. Yes I understand his concern, but I felt his words were incredibly misplaced.
My wonderful child told him however,
“The knife was packed because if I wanted to hunt snakes and turtles and bring them back for dinner; how else was I supposed to kill them?”
That’s when I initially busted out in laughter. He then followed with,
“Well I tried to catch a turtle for dinner, but it went into the water and I couldn’t see the bottom so I didn’t go after it because I can’t swim.”
I’m so incredibly thankful, to this day, that he was calm enough in his decision making to make the decision that didn’t end up with him losing his life.
The officer then goes into more detail about his escapades at the golf course. Which is where he ventured to and was located this entire time. It was right across the street. I never once thought to look there.
My quirky and incredibly rare breed of child, decided to tell everyone that he didn’t have parents. That he was raised by wolves and that they set him on his way to become an adult wolf.
That’s when I busted out laughing the second time. The officer couldn’t even keep a straight face as he was telling me this story. However, due to his understanding and him seeing how worried I was – well I was more like in a frantic mess, he chose not to involve the city. And I was able to hold onto my child, and when I finally got to, he cried and apologized to me. And we went about the rest of our day, playing video games and talking.
However, that wasn’t the end of it. Due to us being in military housing, the military got involved and opened an investigation against both my husband and I for child neglect. It caused some minor annoyances for him, and the case went unfounded, but really?
They didn’t even try to speak to me at all in regards to the situation. They just pulled on ole “whoopsie daisy” and filed an investigation.
But anyway, I dislike them wholly for that, but I digress.
Four years later, yes four, I still suffer from PTSD and anxiety from this incident. I hate going to parks, I always have to have my eyes on him, and when he’s quiet – my heart sinks into my ass and I rush to find him.
It sucks, but I can’t change that. I can only strive to regain some ounce of my self and allow him to grow into the wonderful smartass teenager he’s starting to become.