Friday we went in to town early and picked up Matt, headed to the library to drop off books and decided to run in and use the bathroom, Matt had replaced the headlight in the van and his hands were dirty. I had no pockets and gave Ben my keys to hold. When I came out of the bathroom, Matt was standing there on his phone using their wi-fi, so I headed around to help Jake and Chan find some books since we were already there. Matt wandered over a minute or so later, and asked where Ben was. I said he was still in the bathroom, but please go check. He came out and said he was not in there.
That started a half an hour that aged me by 10 years, easy. By the end, I had the police on the way, security was reviewing footage of the camera over the door, I had been on the intercom myself, I had TOTALLY lost it on the staff, who I KNOW go through 'missing kid' scares weekly and the kid is riding the elevator or on a computer or holed up reading. They did not seem to get that he was not the kind of kid to wander off and do his own thing and that he was NOT IN THAT LIBRARY.
By the time the security guard came down to I guess arrest me-though he was super nice and very calm, Matt had gone outside with Jake to scour the bushes and yell for him for the 3rd time. Jake came in and said he was in the van! I imagine anyone who had the capacity to think would have recalled I gave him my keys. I never would have thought he would go out by himself, but he was locked in the van, snoozing.
I am usually VERY calm in stressful situations. I know hysteria only makes the job of the people helping that much harder. I don't want it to be about me, but about my child-all the focus and effort needs to go immediately toward looking for them, not trying to pry information out of a sobbing emotional wreck. And I always have been until Zeppie, I was even calm then-I did SO much to find that dog and none of it worked. I had that same feeling of 'where!?' was Ben that I did when I was looking for Zephyr and my brain kept saying, "It did not matter HOW well you looked and WHO you talked to, she's gone and now so is Ben." Every step I took my brain said, "Gone. Gone. Gone."
I tried the whole 'pedophiles usually go for younger boys' (fucked up world that THAT is a small comfort) and telling myself he was smart, he was tall for his age, people don't usually take 12 year old boys, he would have made SOME commotion. Unless he was unconscious. Unless he was already dead and stuffed into the acoustic ceiling tiles over the bathroom. Unless he walked out on his own thinking we all had returned to the car and was grabbed by a hobo in a bush or a freak in a van or someone had run up to tell him his sister was hit by a car and quick, get in he'd take him to the hospital, it's just a mile away! We had already gone ahead on the ambulance.
After a VERY tearful reunion, we had to get to the Macaroni Grill to have my birthday dinner, though all I wanted at that point was to be home in a hot bath getting ready for bed. I think everyone understood I was a wreck and the celebration was subdued.
We had rehearsal that night for Alice and I think it went well. I took pictures, which were not great-the lighting was bad and most of the shots are poorly lit. But it got my mind off the library and that was good. We got in late, well after 11.
Saturday we worked on stuff for the play most of the day. I think we did something else that evening. It was just 36 hours ago, so you'd think I would remember, but I don't. I can remember random lyrics and a few disastrous ideas I have been through in my quest to make a breakable teacup that will not cut someone. Or make lots of tiny pieces, or...melt. Oh, we dropped the Volvo off and had the brakes replaced EARLY Saturday morning and that night Matt and I watched the new True Blood dvd from Netflix.
Sunday we wanted to get some exercise and be somewhere not home or at the theater. So we went to Cheaha and swam, had a picnic, went for a hike and generally enjoyed the view. We also saw a kid smack her head open and have to wait nearly 30 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. It would seriously have been faster to drive her in to the ER.
On the way home, we stopped in Gadsden and had yogurt and another walk until the full dark chased us back to the van and toward home.
When we got in, I started the laundry and the drain hose came off and water went EVERYWHERE. Not just water, but the dirty lake-water water from our swim suits. And I had not done laundry all weekend, there was a pile in the floor along with the stuff we got dirty out hiking and swimming-mostly towels. It ALL got soaked and we had to use nearly all the rest of the household towels to blot up the water.
At one point, Jake was overwhelmed and called Ben in to help. He said, "Grab a towel and find a wet patch and start stomping." Ben grabbed a towel, found a wet patch and started stomping. While holding the towel over his head.
Today we have to be in Huntsville to do an Alice promo at the library. The same library I had a fit and made security shut down just last Friday. I am NOT looking forward to going back in there, I had decided to just...never go back.
Here are some pics from the last few days: