Certainly many parents have had an episode like this one. It is when a few minutes seem like hours. Every catastrophic thought races thru your mind. You cannot act quick enough. Our oldest daughter got separated from me at the recent “Disney on Ice.”
Mind you, our ten year-old daughter asked to walk a few feet ahead of our group and check out some souvenirs at the show. I had said yes. (She is confident, responsible, and trustworthy). I was right behind her. I got talking, distracted, lost in thoughts, etc. It had been perhaps a minute. When I looked ahead to see our oldest, she was nowhere in sight. —I mean nowhere! After checking the bathroom, running ahead, and then running back from where we were, she was still nowhere in sight. It wasn’t adding up. I was starting to get beside myself. This just couldn’t be happening to her, to us!
Two dear friends were right by. One ran ahead to look for me. The other friend stayed with our younger daughter. I consulted security. They got her description from me. Somehow, I knew exactly what she was wearing. As my heart dove into my stomach, I described the purple outfit she had on that night. The first security guard notified all security. They looked for her throughout the building. Security monitored the doors. It was every parent’s worst nightmare during that span of time.
I found her after about 15 minutes. When she explained what happened, she had been just getting ready to call me on a cell phone. Our smart girl had thought to politely borrow a cell phone from someone and call me. She had gotten swept by the crowd. We were both visibly shaken and relieved. It was the best type of reunited I have ever known! It was chalk full of lessons for all of us. The importance of staying ever so close was completely underlined, as was the fact that security doesn’t always look like you think they will. At the First Niagara Arena, the majority of their security wore suits and walky talkies that night. I was grateful, so grateful, I knew what she had on that night. That typically is not the case, but an important, vital note to make in a situation such as that night. Having a meeting place, in case of separation, will be something that occurs right away for the children and I. Also, she should have had a buddy if she went ahead of us, even if it was that close by. The distance during those 15 minutes could have been a thousand miles. The assistance and support of my two friends is something I will never forget. Thank you, my friends! The only thing to do with a situation like this one is to learn from it; remember the lessons; and offer up many thanks….