Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Very, Very Thankful (and Tired) Mom

My four year old son doesn't feel well, today. It is his turn for the yucky nose and fever. So I gave him some cold medicine before lunch.

Naturally, that made him sleepy, and he was soon dozing on the stuffed chair in the play room. I decided to let him nap there, and sat down at my desk to catch up.

Ten minutes later, I checked on him only to find that the chair was empty. I looked behind the chair, behind the couch, all around the room, and I called. Nothing. That's strange, I thought. Where did he get to?

I continued to call him as I systematically checked the house. I checked the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room, the bedrooms, the closets, the garage, the cars. Nothing.

I began to yell his name. Where did he go?? The adrenalin surged as I flew out the door. He wasn't even awake enough to want to go outside. Was he??

Where could he be? I flew to check the bikes. They were all there. I ran to the sandbox. It was empty.

Surely, he is in the house somewhere! I ran back in and went through the house again, room by room, calling him. Still nothing.

We live in a quiet neighborhood. But, we have a deep ravine (really, its a cliff with a drop of nearly 30 feet) about 200 yards to our south just inside the woods.

We also have a bog, which our neighbor is in the process of digging into a pond. There is at least one place that drops off to about nine feet in the water.

But my son has never shown any interest in going near these places without his big brothers or one of us. Surely, he wouldn't . . .

Hearing noises in the woods where the water is, I headed straight for the bog. But, again, nothing. My neighbor was burning brush on the other side of the water. At least it was unlikely my son would have gotten into trouble there without my neighbor seeing him.

I turned and looked around. Where else, Lord? Where else? The cats! He is always following the cats.

I ran completely around the house--still yelling, but now letting the panic creep into my voice. I looked for the cats on the porch and found none.

I looked across the field towards the ravine and felt sick to my stomach.

Then, I heard something. A faint thump, or had I imagined it, in the house?

I threw open the door, stepped in, and stopped dead to listen. I yelled again, this time in a tone of desperation tinged with anger and frustration. It was my "Mommy REALLY, REALLY means business" voice.

Soft crying began coming from the playroom. Racing through the doorway, I found him sitting on the floor hugging his knees.

"Where WERE you?" I bellowed as I stopped to catch my breath. He looked up at me, wiped his nose on the back of his hand, and pointed beneath the low coffee table. My head drooped to the side as I looked at him hard.

"Mommy, you're making me sad!" he whimpered.

"YOU were making MOMMY sad, and SCARED!" I yelled. "I couldn't FIND you and I was running all over CALLING you. Why didn't you answer Mommy? Didn't you hear me? Were you hiding?"

He looked down at his hands, big tears rolling down his cheeks, "I was just tired, Mommy."

And that was it. He had somehow slid to the floor and wound up under the table, sound asleep--only to be awakened when his mommy's voice reached the level that shakes the house. Thank You Lord. Thank you. Thank you.

I hugged him. I cried. He cried, still not sure what had happened and why I came bellowing into the room like I did.

Later, when we were sitting in the car waiting for the boys at the bus stop, he undid his seat belt and leaned up next to my ear and said, "Mommy, I'm sorry I made you sad. I really was just tired."

Sweet Boy. He has a sensitive spirit and is always quick to want to make things right. I reassured him, and thanked the Lord again.

You know? I'm tired, too, and I'm fairly certain there's a few more grey hairs on my head.

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