The time I lost Abigail

About a year and a half ago, we had some friends invite the three of us over for dinner. They are good friends that we have known since before we had one baby and they only had one(they now have three!). In fact, their oldest daughter was the first kiddo Jim and I ever babysat together. Thinking back on that now- it’s pretty comical. Anyway. They were living in an apartment complex and we decided to eat outside in their community area.

They grilled kabobs. We sat at the picnic tables. The kiddos ran around us playing and squealing.

As we were visiting and finishing up eating, another set of our friends showed up. They had been seeing some of their friends that happened to live in the same complex and saw us from the balcony. They just wanted to come over and say hello. So we talked and talked with them. I don’t know how long we visited. Five minutes? Ten minutes? All of a sudden the husband says, “So, where’s Abigail at tonight?”

As Jim and I both started to say, “what do you mean?” or “she’s right there” or “she’s playing with her friends” we looked around and realized. She was no where to be seen.

I remember kind of laughing a parting goodbye to our friends like, “haha, oh I’m sure she’s around here somewhere! We better head off and find her!” But inside? Oh my insides.

This is what I saw near me.

Multiple parking lots.

A pond. A big, big pond.

Multiple apartment complexes.

Multiple stairwells.

Beyond the parking lots? Very, very, very busy roads.

I remember thinking, “Well, our friend just took her kids up to the bathroom. She probably just brought Abigail with her.” But then I quickly realized, “No. That’s like against mom code. She would have told me if she had taken her.”

Then panic really starts to set in.

She could have crawl-walked in any direction. At this point she was still doing that T-rex style walk, she was still that little.

How long had we been talking? How long had it been since we didn’t notice her wander away? Would I have heard water splash? Would someone in a car see her?

I remember praying the oddest, weirdest little prayer. It was something like, “I trust that you are going to take me straight to her” At the time, I was cool and still as could be. I thought through the directions I could go in. My mama instincts told me she was okay. But, truthfully, I think that was panic more than anything else.

I don’t know how long we looked for her. Probably not very long. Or maybe we did. Jim found her up the third flight of CONCRETE stairs to some random unit. Happily headed up to some unknown destination. Completely unaware of the trauma she had just put her poor parents through.

Honestly, I couldn’t talk about it for a very, very long time. It was like my brain was completely shut off to what had happened. I couldn’t let myself think about what could have happened, what did happen. All I could do was cry and thank God that nothing did.

When today’s prompt was to talk about a time I felt very afraid there was no other option but this one. Nothing compares to the fear of thinking that I had lost my little girl due to my own incompetence, or simply carelessness.

If you have little ones, has there ever been a time you thought you lost them? As a child, did you ever get lost?

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    1. Your story was very scary as well! Choking is terrifying. You experience the same completely helpless feeling as losing your little one somewhere unknown- you can certainly do something, but will it be in time? SO, so scary.

  1. Oh my! I would have been freaking out but thankfully you found her safe and sound!
    I once lost my son in a store. He ran to the front and was playing with the maniquins! I thought someone had taken him because we had searched the whole store but thankfully an employee found him!

    1. Yes, I'm so thankful nothing *actually* happened. She never realized anything was amiss, thank goodness.

      It's the scariest feeling in the world! They are so fast and so small, it only takes a second to lose sight of them.

  2. This is one of my worst nightmares! I can't imagine the panic you guys were feeling! My heart skips a beat when I leave a room in the house for a split second, and come back and Mya's not there. So glad she's okay!

    I got lost once walking home from school! Scary!

    1. Ha, yes, my heart sometimes skips a beat too in the house- because it usually means trouble 😉

      On my first day of Kindergarten the bus dropped me off at the wrong school. We have a home video of my mom recording all the kids getting off the bus and I never get off! I can't even imagine. My poor mom. Yours was probably terrified for you as well.

  3. Wow. Just reading your store gives me that mommy lump in my throat. (Gulp)


    One time Katie choked when I was home alone with her. Afterward all i could do was cry. From my own scare to feeling helpless to make her ok.

    Blahhhh. It definitely leaves you feeling drained in every aspect.

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