Friday, June 20, 2008

Today- I'm going to heaven

I swear this stuff only happens to me. Last week in was baby goats and this week it's children.

I was driving home from work for lunch today through downtown Wausau on 5th St. 5th St. is a busy street in town. I pull up to the stop light and out of the corner of my eye I see a little boy wandering through the street and yards. He looked to be about Bennet's size so I was guessing 2 1/2. Not an age to be out unsupervised.

There was a gentleman (Let's call him Al) standing outside his car trying to get the boy's attention. The boy just keep running. And let me tell you this kid has some Carl Lewis genes. F-aaaaast with a capital F!! My first thought was- get him to stop moving near traffic. My second thought was- I have a car seat if we need to transport him to his parents or the police station. I immediately pull over, put on my hazzards, lock the car and start bookin' after the child. Now for those of you who know me know that I am not in shape by any stretch of the imagination. And running with jeans and heels is not easy :)



I catch up with Al in a parking lot behind a church. (Matt & Katie- the church where Luke & Renee were married) Al is on the phone with what I assume to be the police. He says, "I can't get him to stop" My response, "Well just run up and pick him up." Classic Mom response. The little boy is still crusing at mach 5 with his hair on fire scaling down a brick wall toward 3rd St and Fulton. With sweat trickling down my brow I catch up to the boy and turn him around. I immediately see that he has Down Syndrome. Oh man- I don't want to scare him. I ask him to hold my hand which he does. I hoist him back up the wall onto the parking lot. Off he runs again.

Here is where my nightly GiggyGack rides with Bennet come in handy. I realize that the only way to keep him still is to put him up. I hoist him up on my shoulders. Based on his weight I'm guess he's 3 1/2 or 4. We passed the time waiting for the police by looking at our reflection in the church windows and waving. He had a good time playing with my hair and resting his head on the top of mine. An incredibly sweet boy.

The officer showed up and told me the boy's name (Let's call him Marty to protect his innocence) and that a call had already been placed looking for him. He had snuck away from daycare. The person that came to pick him up was the daughter of the daycare owner. In my opinion she did not understand the severity of what could have happened. She was almost non-chalant about it. When the officer asked her how old he was she said "Oh I don't know. 5? He's not mine. I was helping my mom at daycare." Considering I was choking back tears I guess I expected more emotion. I'm sure it will hit her later.

As a mom of two little kids I understand what can happen in the short moments you aren't looking. I get that. Trust me- not a day goes by where one of them isn't getting into something they shouldn't. And Bennet goes to a wonderful inhome care provider. (Amy- you're the BEST!) But when you have a special needs child you need to be all the more vigilant. What would have happened had his parents come to pick him up tonight to hear "We can't find him" or worse. That little boy is lucky he wasn't hurt or killed.

I passed Marty off to the woman and the officer. As time went away I got to thinking. I hope his parent's find out what happened today. Yes- I am one of those people who calls the police department to make sure that happens. I know mistakes happen but as a parent I'd want to know about it. I called the Police Department after lunch since I couldn't stop thinking about wanting to make sure his parents were aware of what happened to their son. The Lieutenant on duty assured me that the parents are always notified in cases like this. Here is the path that Marty may have taken today.

My heart is heavy when I think of what could have happened to sweet Marty today. Someone was truly looking out for him. My heart is light when I realize that I helped get him home safe and sound. In the right place at the right time.

This is what I learned about myself today:

A. I need to start working out more.

B. I am one cool cucumber under pressure.

C. My instincts are fine tuned instruments!
D. I think I can have a few sinful indulgences tonight b/c today- I'm going to heaven for sure!

12 comments:

Brenda said...

oh my gosh Kari! A greater power certainly put you in the perfect place. Makes me shiver thinking of all that could've happened. He had gone a long distance. I hope that his parents find out what happened. So scary!!

JC/DC said...

What a scary, scary, scary, yet somehow poignantly beautiful story. Yes, Kari, please indulge tonight.

Williams Family said...

You indulge to your heart's delight tonight - you have earned it! I am choked up, just reading about it and thinking about how fortunate that little guy was. Thank goodness for you!

Monica Jo said...

Oh my goodness Kari...you were an angel sent from heaven today. That poor little boy. I believe I would make a complaint against the daycare. That is just sooo scarey. I'm so glad you were there to save and protect that little boy. Yes you definately deserve to indulge yourself...Thanks so much for sharing this story.

BethyM said...

Oh WOW -- You showed those mommy skills. Thank goodness Marty is at home tonight with his parents. I hope the daycare gets a talking to. Wow.

Melissa S said...

Oh dear!! What a story Kari..thank heavens you were in the right place at the right time! Good for you....go have some icecream! I wonder what if anything will happen to the day care...ugh....

Carla said...

Wow Kari! You were his angel today! What a lucky boy he is - you are one amazing woman!

McFarland Family said...

Oh goodness Kari, so glad you were there at that time. I think you reserved your spot after today!

Jenn said...

i'm crying just reading about it! You are such an awesome woman! Kudos to you for helping and I agree you're goin to heaven!

Dawn said...

Holy crap woman! OK, now as a childcare teacher, I can not help but wonder how in the world that child wandered away. Thank goodness that sweet kid had you chasing after him. LOL about you calling the police. How many times did you call about the kids crossing on 3rd St? ;)

Chere Nordstrand said...

You are like SUPER WOman Kari!!!! Good thing you were in the right place at the right time. I can't believe how far he ran! Kari to the rescue!

The Comin Family said...

What a story!! So glad you were there in this little boy's hour of need.