Thursday, February 14, 2013


My heart raced as I pushed my leg between the doors. My hands grabbed the doors as I saw two other passengers come to help. A woman trying to pull with me looked me in the eyes and told me that I had to stop and call 2-4-something. She said it would be okay, but I knew it wouldn't. My 4 and 8 year olds were in that subway car. I was not. Neither was my oldest child. I would not and could not let go. I screamed toward the front of the train while desperately trying to open the doors. It was the last car, and I knew the driver couldn't hear me; but I hoped that when they stuck their head out to check the train before moving forward they could see and hear me. I had to get my babies. Inside, Aine and Benton had no idea. For what seemed like hours I hung onto those doors, encumbered by my bulky winter jacket. Finally, the heavy doors moved open a few feet. I grabbed Benton by the coat and pulled him out. Aine had her back turned to the door, oblivious to the drama unfolding. With increasing panic in my voice, I yelled her name twice. I reached as she turned around and grabbed her out of the door. My heart was in my throat as I pushed them over to a nearby bench. The doors closed and the train rushed away. We sat there on that bench holding each other. Thankfully, we were back together.

So ended our visit into the city center yesterday. We visited the postal museum. It was fun. The ride home was not. While we waited for our connecting train at the next platform, I called Eamon and Aine over (Benton was lounging in the stroller). Aine asked, "Why?" Eamon turned to her and told her that I needed a hug. He was so very right. After a group hug, we again went over our train emergency plan (included here to remind you to review this with your families).
1. If you get on the train, and I am not with you, hold hands and do not let go of each other.
2. Get off at the next stop regardless.
3. Go straight to the metro worker booth and tell them you were separated from your mother.
$. Do not go with anyone.
6. Do not leave the station.
7. I will call the emergency number alerting them that you are by yourself.
8. I will be on the next train. I will get off at the next stop to find you at the booth.
9. Know I love you and will get you back.
The Muppet Movie and big bowls of popcorn were shared once we returned home. I don't think any of us wanted to continue on to the zoo after that ordeal.


  1. OMG Heather, I am sitting here with tears in my eyes and my chest clinched tight. I am so thankful this had a happy ending, and now I feel like I need a hug too.
    Stay safe my dear friend.

    1. Thanks, Tracey. It was definitely scary.

  2. Goodness!!! Reading this post was stressful. I know that feeling when your heart drops with your stomach to a thud. I am so glad you were able to get the kids off of the train. And now you have a step by step plan if it ever happened again. But it won't. You'll be too vigilant for quite some time.... hugs :)

  3. good lord! that is terrifying. i have a similar plan for when we ride the lightrail. sadly there aren't a heck of a lot of people at the stops. ((hug))

  4. Oh you poor thing Heather,what a scary minute but it must have been a life time for you. Thank goodness you are all safe sound now. Hugs from me too. I hope you have a nice peaceful calm rest of the week.

  5. Anonymous3:15 PM

    Oh Heather - how incredibly scary for you. That happened to my BIL and SIL in NYC with their twins (who were 13 or 14 at the time). They were visiting from FL and got separated at the subway. Their train actually left and sheer chaos ensued as they got different advice from different people ("walk up to the next station! THey'll get off there" only to find that the next closest station was actually a different line or that the train the boys were on was an express and didn't actually STOP at the next station; "talk to the ticket booth guy" who said he couldn't talk to the trains, and the kids would be fine - didn't they have a place to meet? and so on).

    I'm so glad you now have a plan in place for managing the situation and I hope you never have to use it.

    That adrenaline crash may make you really tired, so be sure to get rest today and tonight.

    HUGE HUGS to all of you today! May the weekend be MUCH calmer!

  6. OMG. Soooo scary, I can hardly imagine. I am just so glad that you were not separated. Wow, an emergency plan is definetly needed when riding trains. Once my friend and I were separated (I got off train, she did not) while traveling Europe when I was 20 years old. It was scary and unnerving then.

  7. Thank you all for your kind words. It was definitely scary. We are now more vigilant and won't let it happen again. It is does, we do have an emergency plan which I remind the kiddos about each time we ride. We spent yesterday at home. I don't think I was up for another outing!

  8. Anonymous4:05 PM

    Oh what a nightmare. I hope you'll have a peaceful weekend ahead to recover..

  9. that is so scary! and one of my worst nightmares! i am so glad everything worked out.

    and that you enjoyed the postal museum.

  10. Terrifying indeed! I love your plan and will adopt it for the next time we head into DC on the Metro. I am so glad you all were reunited quickly :)