I remember when two of my children came to me and told me that they lost their sister. She wandered off and they had no idea where she was. They were frantic and crying and terrified. I knew immediately that they were not playing a prank and that my child was somewhere in the world alone and without me. My heart started to beat faster but my body remained calm. I told them to help me look for her and we called her name around the immediate area and searched for her. The feeling of uncertainty was inundating.
We got in the car and drove around looking for her and calling her name. We were all scared and the longer I drove without hearing her respond the more the tears filled my eyes. I kept driving and I kept calling, and I kept hoping that I would see my baby. My kids were scared and worried about their sister.
That feeling is one that I never want to know again. That feeling consumed my heart, my mind, my life. I was worried about my baby. I was scared that I would not see her face. I was concerned that her laugh would no longer reach me. My youngest daughter was afraid that we would never find her sister again. My son began to blame himself and hysteria started to creep up.
The moment came when we were near the back of the complex and looking and calling for her and the hope began to slip away. When my eyes blinked and emptied the tears I saw my baby. I saw her sitting with strangers just talking and laughing. She was safe but I was a wreck. I was overjoyed and so thankful that the people who my daughter happened upon where not people who had a mind to hurt her.
I am encouraging all parents to love your children. Love them more than you have. Continue to protect them and educate them. Talk to your children and not at them. Let your children know that they have a voice and their voice will be heard at least by you. Support your children. Encourage your children. Respect your children. Allow them to be children. Let’s keep our children safe. Be an active part of the village!