I have been thinking about sharing this story with the kos community for the past few days. I have mostly written diaries about the political race but this incident in a department store really scared me so much I have to share it.
My daughter went missing for about 5 minutes in a department store and I went totally beserk!!
read rest of story below...
My husband and I had an appointment for my daughter's eye exam in a Sears department store. We got there early and was totally taken aback by the sales in the men's department so we stopped to buy some shorts and to check out the other department close by,
We are about to close on our brand new home and have been looking at large household items for the last few weeks.
Anyway our daughter, who is 8 was weaving in and out of the displays. I always tell her to never go into aisles by herself and to always make sure she can see us and we her.
The time was getting close for our appointment so we started to walk over to the eye center after visiting a friend in the lady's department. We stopped to look at some more men's wear on our way over there and I saw an even better deal for men's shorts and decided to exchange the original pairs for the new deal.
My husband told me at this time that he was going to go to the bathroom. He left us and wondered off. I continued walking towards the eye center with my daughter. Then she disappeared.
At first I did not realize she was gone. I was standing by the cash register trying to exchange the shorts for the better priced pair when I realized she was no where near me.
I called her name softly. No answer.
I walked over to the eye center calling her name softly. No answer.
I looked and then walked over to the fitting rooms, my voice rising. No answer.
I started looking behind the clothing racks by this time yelling at the top of my voice. Still no answer.
Then there was total blackness. My world went black and starting falling upwards towards me really fast and the silence was deafening.
I stood in the center of the men's department and yelled her name so loudly I alerted the other departments nearby and people started to gather.
I looked towards the eye center and noticed an exit. I ran towards it yelling her name as I ran. An employer told me to go the other way that he had the door and outside covered.
I ran back inside to starring bystanders and employees with walkie talkies getting ready to call in the code to security.
The silence was deafening and my world was imploding fast as I screamed, screeched and cried my daughter's name. NO ANSWER. Silence.
I started runnning remembering my husband's trek to the bathroom. As I ran I asked a lady if she had seen a little girl (giving her description). The lady said she had seen her on the other side of the store with a man.
My world imploded and blackness engulfed.
Running on air I rounded the corner to see my husband standing outside the bathroom door as I yelled my daughter's name. He looked at me completely perplexed as she came out of the bathroom oblivious to all the commotion I had created outside.
I grabbed her and held on for dear life as my world exploded in light. She explained that she had run off with her dad to the bathroom and she thought I had heard her say where she was going. I had not.
After walking back to the eye store, my husband slowing following in embarrassed strides, I thanked everyone who had helped explaining what had happened.
My husband was embarrassed but I was/am not. If it happened again the same way I would do the same thing. Many kids get taken from malls and I learned from reading and watching these incidents that one has to be proactive. No one can say I was not proactive. I was the mother of proactive behavior in this case and I am not embarassed.
Since then I hold my daughter a little closer everyday, I hug her a little tighter and I cuddle her more than ever. I stroke her face and look into it as she lays asleep in bed and I give thanks that the incident had not gone in the other direction.
My husband did not help the situation when he told me, as we were leaving the Sears store that same evening that it was a Sears store that caused the famous show America's Most Wanted to be created. The creator of that show's son was taken from a Sears store and was found dead and abused much later.
From start to finish this incident only covered about 5 minutes total but it felt like hours. I have used this incident to speak further to my daughter about being safe and how to conduct herself in stores and what to do if she ever got lost or in a bad situation.
Once again I am not embarrassed and am happy to be the mother of proactive behavior. Better safe than sorry.
(excuse spelling errors in a hurry)