3 weeks ago
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!!
Posted by Bon at 1:12 PM