I thought I had experienced some scary moments in my life until I lost Luke at the beach yesterday. He was only gone for 15 minutes, but in that short amount of time I literally freaked out. I started crying, screaming for help, shaking... I kept imagining his little body floating in the water among all the other people playing in the waves. I even ran to the lifeguard station and asked them if his body would wash up if he had been caught in a wave. (Their answer, "Maybe.")
When Erik finally found him, he was just walking along the beach looking for us. Now, the day after, it seems kind of silly that I got so worked up over 15 little minutes, but a lot can happen in 15 minutes at a crowded beach to a wandering 3 year old. Even worse, my mind had 15 minutes to think up every possible worst case scenario.
Today I'm debating whether or not to buy a child locator. I can't believe I am turning into one of those mothers. They're expensive, but, as they say, "your child's safety is priceless." (Next thing you know I'm going to be buying bullet proof backpacks and tissue box nanny cameras too.) The hesitation I have about buying this child locator, besides spending $200, is that I got lost a lot as a kid and survived. Everyone I know did. Isn't this a normal part of childhood? Or couldn't I just tie a long rope around him too?
I am also concerned about trying to calm down enough about losing Luke so that I can enjoy going to public places with my kids again. Later yesterday afternoon, I returned to the beach to find my sister-in-law laying out, with her face down on a towel, eyes closed, while her 3 year old played around her. I wish I had that kind of confidence in my kids!