Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Sweet Jocelyn

Today I experienced both the worst and best feelings a parent can ever feel. We went to McDonald's for lunch and were in the play place, Jocelyn playing on one side of the room, and Ava on the other. We had been there for a while and it was time to go, so I told Jocelyn to get her shoes on because it was time. I walked around the other side of the room to get Ava. When I turned around Jocelyn was gone. At first I thought maybe she was hiding from me because she didn't want to go home yet. I called her name and got no reply. I looked around the corner into the other room where you order your food. No Jocelyn. I kept calling and realized that by now she would have come out to me if she had been hiding. I asked the only other family in the play place if they had seen her leave, and they hadn't. My mind was scrambling and I kept thinking that any second I would find her and that everything would be alright. But with each passing second I started to wonder more and more if something had happened. Had she left without me? Was she out by the car? I ran outside and couldn't see her. I ran back in and called her name some more. I started praying frantically in my mind that she would show up. Had someone taken her? Did she run to the bathroom? The bathroom door was locked, so I knocked on it and called her name, only to find an annoyed McDonald's employee open the door and give me a dirty look. Worry was overcoming me, and with Ava on my hip I lost all consideration for other people and started yelling her name out and looking under tables. I decided I'd better go check the car again. I couldn't see her, but as I circled around the car, I found her on the other side of it, waiting for me all along.

Holy crap.

The feeling that overcame me then was indescribable. I started crying and pulled her toward me. She looked at me funny and wondered what was wrong with her mom. I told her that she scared me and that I thought she was lost. She told me she thought I was lost! After calming down and driving home, I explained to her that if she loses me, she needs to stay where she is and I will find her.
I have always felt for the parents out there who lose their children, but this gave me a completely new perspective. For a split second I was sure I had lost my sweet Jocelyn, and my life went with her. What a blessing it is to be home now, safe and sound with my two beautiful daughters.

Now I think I'll just go lock the deadbolts and never leave the house again.