Wednesday, January 25, 2012

At least He Knew What to Do

Benton chose our destination today. He was up early sitting beside me on the couch while I read my email and blog reader. The light was low as we sat side by side under a down throw. He was quiet until I began reading a friend's blog. He immediately identified his friends and asked where they were walking. Once he heard, he decided that the Desert Botanical Gardens would be our destination today.
Winter is such a beautiful time in the desert. It is a fantastic time of year and only gets better in the next two months as the desert flowers begin to bloom. The garden was a bit busier with winter visitors, which meant that there were a lot of docents scattered throughout the garden. Many of the volunteers are so willing to talk with my kiddos. One in particular was a delight. She spent quite a bit of time telling the kiddos about nests, birds and reptiles. The kiddos didn't want to leave her station.
When we did resume our walk, Eamon was eager to find the hands-on area. Besides the telescopes, the mortars and pestles were the most fun. We talked about mesquite and the many uses of it. As the children ground mesquite pods into flour, I noticed a small rabbit approach. It came up so close to us nibbling on vegetation. I quietly told Eamon and Aine to look behind them. Benton came over too and we all watched the bunny. It must be very accustomed to people, because we were not quiet in the least.  The flour tasted a bit sweet and salty
When we did resume our walk, Eamon was eager to find the hands-on area. Besides the telescopes, the mortars and pestles were the most fun. We talked about mesquite and the many uses of it. As the children ground mesquite pods into flour, I noticed a small rabbit approach. It came up so close to us nibbling on vegetation. I quietly told Eamon and Aine to look behind them. Benton came over too and we all watched the bunny. It must be very accustomed to people, because we were not quiet in the least.

Our outing was derailed at this point. We abruptly had to leave the hands-on area, because Eamon had to use the restroom. He began to run ahead of us ignoring my instructions to stay close. As Aine, Benton and I rounded the turns back to the main part of the garden, we did not see Eamon. We made our way to the closest bathroom, but he was not in it. With a quickened pace, we retraced part of our earlier journey to another bathroom. No Eamon. Our yells for him were getting a bit frantic. The garden is big, and he is only 8.5 years old. A few of the volunteers began to help in the search. Benton began to worry about his big brother and added his voice to our yells. With a definite urgency, I steered us to the main entrance. As I was getting closer, an employee of the garden was coming toward me after hearing our shouts. I instantly remembered the other time we lost Eamon. The park ranger told me that my son was at admissions after confirming my name and his. With the ranger at my side, I practically sprinted toward the entrance and my oldest son.

Amidst big hugs, Eamon said, "I did what you always tell me." I told him that he hadn't. He had gone ahead of us and not stayed where he could see me. He agrued with me about my interpretation of his behavior. He said that when he realized that he had lost me, he did what I tell him to do. He had emerged from the bathroom near the entrance and realized I wasn't there, so he went straight to the admissions area. He even assured me that he told them my phone number. He did admit to flipping the first three and the final four numbers, because he was a little nervous. We hugged again and again. I told him that yes, he had done the right thing when he realized he was lost.

After the excitement, we all wanted to head home. In the cool safety of the car, I asked Eamon if he was scared. He said he was, and that he was glad we were all back together. Phew, what a day!

6 comments:

  1. My goodness!!! How scary for everyone!!! I'm glad he was safe and sound and made sure to go where he knew he'd be safe. It made me chuckle that he argued with you... :-)

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  2. I just can't imagine how scared you were. Dave did something like that when he was 4 but he didn't go that far and thankfully it didn't take long for me to find him but it was very scary. I'm glad that he is back at home with his parents and siblings. He is one lucky little guy! Much love!

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    1. I wasn't so much scared as concerned about where he could have gone. I didn't want him to be looking for us. My instinct told me he was fine - just doing his own thing as he fancies himself rather independent! I am glad he knew what to do and remembered what he had been told in the past about becoming separated.

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  3. Wow! Well, it sounded like it was overall a great trip. So glad that Eamon is okay (and you, too!)

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  4. My heart was in my stomach as I read your post! At least Eamon did 'part' of what you told him which is pretty brave for a little boy. I had one of my son's go missing for a little while when he was younger, scared me to no end. And my children wonder why I have grey in my hair!

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  5. My goodness, sounds like quite a scare. Glad it worked out okay.

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