The sweetest things in life, aren't things......

Monday, December 22, 2008

Every Mothers WORST nightmare!


My Friday started out like any other day! I went about my household chores and cleaning routine. And had a fabulous morning. When I arrived at the school at 11:40 to pick Caleb up, everything changed!

I got there early like always and was patiently waiting outside in the pick up line. I soon realized it was 11:50 and Caleb still hadn't come out. I glanced in the rear view mirror to see if I could see any other parents waiting too, but it was just me. So I worried a little, but not to bad. I walked in the school and went to his classroom. I asked the teacher where he was and she quickly assured me he was fine. The school had forgotten to call me and tell me that he was a "Stellar Student". Which means he got to stay for lunch and have McDonald's with Principal Bonner. So my heart was quickly put back at ease, from my brief moment of panic . I asked the teacher when I could get him and she told me 12:30. Since it was already 12:00, by this time, I decided to just wait in the parking lot and read a book.

About 12:20 I drove out of the parking lot and back out front to wait for him. I waited and waited and at about 12:45 I decided to go back in. Immediately when I walked in the school I saw the Principal in the hall and no Caleb. I panicked. I ran up to him and asked where Caleb was. He seemed confused and told me he was in his second class. I assured him that wasn't possible since he only has one class and is a Kindergartner. He then said "Oh he is probably out to recess" We both walked quickly outside and saw NO CALEB. My heart was seriously on the verge of bursting. But I kept assuring my self to not loose my cool and that he was somewhere is the building.

We walked down to the other Kindergarten class to double check and still NO CALEB! I could tell by this time the principal was panicked too. We rushed down to the office where he announced over the intercom to the teachers and students, that a "kindergartner by the name of Caleb Bunnell was missing" and that if "anyone has seen him, please come to the office." I still hadn't let the fountain of tears mounding in my eyes flow yet. I was really trying hard to reassure myself that he was ok.

An aid ran down to the office and said "Caleb left the building at 12:10. I saw him leaving and he said you were out front." That is the moment my heart literally sank. It was now 1:00 and he had left the building at 12:10...50 minutes ago!!!! I ran outside to look up and down the street. The Principal and a lady from my ward were right behind me, just as concerned. I told them I was going to hop in my car and ride up and down the streets. I jumped in my van and seriously had a major melt down. I couldn't stop from uncontrollably sobbing. "This was it"....I had lost him...he was kidnapped...all those thoughts were going fifty thousand miles per minute through my brain. I turned on our street and called Beau. He answered, to my hysterical sobs, and quickly told me "Caleb just called him from home." I rushed home. I ran inside and grabbed him and literally sobbed. He started crying too. He was so worried!! The Principal had driven to my house also and called and I told him that he was home. I am not sure how well he heard me from the raking sobs that came in between every word.

I asked Caleb what happened. He said that the Principal said time to go. He was left alone in the hallway and wasn't sure what to do since this wasn't his normal routine. He walked outside and panicked when he didn't see me. He said he was worried since he knew I didn't know that he was staying for lunch that I had left him. He said he waited and decided to walk home (four to five blocks I might add....across a BUSY main street, alone!!!!!) He walked home and the doors were locked so he climbed the fence in came in the back. He said when he went inside he was scared something happened to me so he called Beau.

The worst parts of all of this is......I was in the parking lot. I just didn't see him cause I was reading, and parked the opposite direction of the doors. ......HE was let outside (which isn't the rule, I believe for the Kindergartners) by himself!!! He crossed the BUSY intersection....and was scared to death!!! Man ...I was FUMING! And if any of you know my husband and his protectiveness he blows me out of the water. He was ready to go to the school and hurt somebody. But I told him to calm down and wait until he was under control. Which he did. He called the Superintendent and then went and talked to the Principal personally.

All in all it was all smoothed over. The Principal, we do love him, but reassured us that steps were being taken to make sure this NEVER happens again. He also apologized a million times. The teachers called and made sure I was OK. Although I did CRY the majority of the day, I was just grateful nothing bad happened to him, and that he was safe now. We were also able to talk to Caleb about NEVER leaving the school alone, regardless of being sent outside alone. So I think he understood.

We do love the Principal. He really has a heart of gold and cares about the students. I know accidents happen. But I am glad to know that they have already taken steps to change procedures to make sure no parent ever has to go through this again!

It TRULY was one of the most terrifying moments I have endured as a mother! I still tear up thinking about how serious the situation could have been!! But I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who protects me and my family continually!!! I don't know what I would ever do...if one of my precious children were lost or hurt!!

34 comments:

Hild Family said...

Oh my goodness, my heart was racing as I read that. How scary- your poor little guy! If that would have been me I would have lost it from the start. Good thing you are such a strong woman. I'm glad everything turned out ok.

Jas, Kris and Kiddies said...

Oh Bonnie, that is so scary!! What was the school thinking?? I know it was an accident, but it drives me nuts when things like that happen. I am so happy to hear that Caleb is ok. I lost Parker once on a bike ride when he went to far ahead of me. I thought I would need therapy for the rest of my life. It is so scary when you can't find your kids. Just glad to hear that he is safe and so sorry that you had to be put through that, when it could have been avoided.

Lindsey said...

Oh my...Bonnie, i am so sorry you had to go through that! What a terrible ordeal. I feel for you cuz I know how much you worry, and in those moments your worries were coming true. You are such a good mother and a good person. Any other person would have just bad mouthed the principal, but you are so Christ-like. Thank you for your example and I am so thankful that things turned out being fine.
love ya!

Jess and Dusty said...

How scary! I hate that horrible feeling of losing your child. Does anything quite compare? I'm glad that he was safe and sound. If anyone could make it home okay, Caleb would be the one. He seems pretty self confident.

Darla and Kirk Nuttall said...

I start crying just thinking about losing Calista, so I can imagine how scary that was for the both of you. I am glad he was okay and knew how to get inside the house. He is a smart kid.

jen said...

What a scary story! I would be crying tons too! I'm glad he's okay.

Rivka said...

How terrifying! I'm so glad Caleb was okay. What a horrible thing to have to go through. My heart still feels like it's sinking even though I know he's okay. I'm so sorry!

The Reeder Raiders said...

It is scary when your child is misplaced. Nick decided to scare me at Shop-ko and Grandma A. was with me. I turned to let the eye doctor know that i needed my glasses adjusted. When I was finished I walked back to where Grandma was waiting for me and she was the one who noticed that Nick wasn't with me. I yelled for Nick from where the registers sit to the Visual center was. The Manager had to stop me and asked if I would wait near the customer service area. They had employees at both doors and some were walking through-out the store. They found he in the home department section of the store, sitting on the top bunk bed. I didn't know if I wanted to hurt him or never let him go.
It is a scary thing to anyone no matter what. I am glad to know that he is safe and sound.

Melissa said...

I am SOOO glad he is okay!!! I remember those exact same feelings and emotions when we lost Jackson at the parade. It made me even more grateful that I have a little boy, and that Heavenly Father hears my prayers. I'm glad he is okay and that things worked out well.

Christina said...

That IS a parents worst nightmare! I'm so sorry, Bonnie. We had a similar experience, but not that extreme. Kelsey went to the bathroom during primary and no one could find her after that for a while. I was home & Hondo even came home asking if she was here! Way too scary! I'm SOOOO glad Caleb is okay. You can't just let kids go and expect them to be safe these days...anywhere. I don't doubt that he was being watched over. What a horrible experience... I'm so sorry.

The Gray Gang said...

EEK! Oh my goodness! Something similar happened to me!!! Only I was talking to my little sis on the phone! (her in Idaho, me in WI) and all of a sudden I hear blood curdling screams and she is yelling let me go let me go! She was outside, an OFFICER GRABBED her, and hung up the phone I was talking to her on! I called and called and called and couldn't get through! I WAS LIVID, I can guarantee you the officer had a talkin too!!!! I have great sympathy for you! I am glad everything turned out ok!

lindseylikes said...

Holy cow!!!! I was in tears. My heart has still not quit racing. I am so glad that Caleb is okay. That has to be the worst feeling in the world. I am so glad that you didn't just let the school off. Hopefully they correct the situation! I am so glad this story had a happy ending.

Devyn said...

oh my goodness, i would also be freaking out! i can feel the terror in my heart for you! i am glad that everything is ok and nothing was really wrong.

Britney said...

Yuck! I have a pit in my stomach for you. What a smart little boy to go home and call daddy. Nothing is worse than that "this can't be happening" feeling. I'm so glad he is ok. I'm sure your nerves are still fried, though.

The Anderson's said...

Holy freakin crap Bon! My heart was racing for you. I am so glad everything turned out great. I know our Heavenly Father was watching over you and Caleb. We love you tons, take care!

The Hammers said...

I'm glad he's okay. That is scary. We had a similiar situation with Cody not too long ago, but it was because my friend was supposed to get him and we were on the phone, so she was like 2 minutes late. Her daughter walked across the street to home, and thankfully, Cody stayed at the school. Still scary when she calls and says, Please tell me Cody came home. Oh yeah, I was at the school, bare foot and in my pj's in like 2 seconds flat. I'm glad your situation turned out okay.

Becca said...

Ooh--it really is the worst feeling. I'm so glad Caleb's okay--and I looooove the picture of him holding the baby! He's such a sweetie, Bon!

Bunnell's said...

Holy Smokes...bon! Scary stuff! I am glad I am reading this after all came out good!!!

Love ya,

Nikki

Monica said...

Oh my goodness Bonnie!! I am sorry you had those Terrifying 2 hours.. There is noting worse then not knowing if your children are safe and where they are.. I am so glad he is okay!!

J. said...

Okay, my heart was racing and I'm not even his mom!!! Oh my goodness. I'm glad it all worked out, but I am glad that you followed through with the school so it doesn't happen to anyone else. I'm crying for you, too. I just cannot EVEN imagine. I'm glad he is home and okay.

christine said...

That is definitely one of the scariest moments in a mother's life. I cry just thinking about one of my children getting lost of kidnapped. I'm so glad that Caleb didn't get hurt or lost-he definitely must have had some "help" getting home. Doesn't it make you just want to hold him all day and not let go?

Thomas and Marissa said...

What a day and what a smart little man to be able to figure out a way to get in the house and call your husband! I'm glad he is home and safe.

Terry Family said...

Okay, it is Tuesday I am at work and I felt tears gathering in my eyes. The only thing that stopped my tears was having to answer the phone. I am happy everything turned out okay. I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

The Meyers said...

Bonnie, that is so scary! I'm so glad he was okay. that's a long time to not know where he is. It sure puts things in perspective doesn't it. Love Ya

Jed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jed said...

That would be so so scary, I was so worried as I just kept reading hoping that Caleb was ok! I'm glad everything turned out fine and I know someone was watching out for him.

Kristin said...

I was staring to panick just reading the story. I can't imagine how you must've felt!!! I'm sooo glad he's ok. He was probably terrified too. I'm so glad he was able to be so responsible and find his way home. That just proves that you've done an outstanding job as a mother and taught him well.{and Beau too:)}

Dave and Candace said...

What a stressful situation! I'm so glad that it turned out okay and that he's safe. Have a great Christmas . . . and hopefully a stress-free one!

Dabell Family said...

That is a nightmare, that feeling of panick is awful! I am so glad he is ok! I hope your family has a very Merry Christmas!

anna said...

I'm so glad that everything is ok...what a smart little boy! Man it seems like schools are getting so laid back these days. They really need more supervision at pick up times!! They just did that at our school.

kari said...

I know how scary that is! You feel like your going to vomit or pass out, and so many thoughts and emotions go rolling around as to where they are and who they might be with. Im so grateful all turned out ok.

The Rowe Family said...

That is the scariest story I've read. I am SO sorry you had to deal with that! I would have been beside myself just like you. I am beside myself just thinking about Cohen, my 3 yr old, being in that situation. So relieved and happy that all your chicks are safe!! :)

Gina Lee said...

Oh my heck! The tears are flowing here. I'm so glad he's okay!

Kristen and Jason said...

ok- I am finally catching up on your blog. (can you tell?) I am fighting back tears as I read this. I can't imagine what you were feeling, but I know I never want to know either. I am so glad he is safe. You are such a good mommy!!