It is every parent’s nightmare… you’re out with your two kids. You’re having fun in a busy public place, you turn around for a moment, then your 2 year-old is gone.
Simply vanished. Missing. Gone. Done the Houdini. Vamoosed…
We’re sitting in Goofy’s house at Disneyland. A busy Sunday with big crowds. We’re winding down. It’s been a big day. I’m managing my 4 yr old Grandson, Mendoza. Andy and Angie are watching 5 yr old Ava and 2 yr old Alec.
I’m hanging in a corner with Andy. Sitting on colorful plastic blocks. The kids are sliding. Mendoza is a bit shy and is hanging pretty close. Ava is a formidable human so she is not a real big worry. I distinctly recall seeing Alec do another run toward the line for the slide… life is cool.
Angie says something. We have a short conversation of earth shattering importance. Then Andy stands up and looks around…
“Alec is gone”, he says, and heads out the gate.
So we do a quick sweep of Goofy’s house. Each of us with a kid by the hand… Be damned if we’re going to lose ANOTHER kid.
Nope, not in Goofy’s pad.
So we head out the gate.
The town square for this part of the park is right there so we cross the street… eyeing up and down for a little blond kid crying because he is lost and frightened.
I tune my ear to the plaintive lost puppy wail.
We do a few quick steps: up, down, right, left… no Alec.
Andy rings Angie from wherever he is. No kid yet.
We are all concerned. It’s been about 10 minutes and we, as responsible adults, have lost the 2 year-old. We’re getting ready to ask for help.
When Angie perks up, looks like a bird dog ready to point. I follow her gaze…
In the town square, in a throng of people moving to and fro…a small blond boy runs up and down and laughs and plays. He is completely free. Devoid of adult care or concern. He is in heaven. He is on the top of the world. He runs. He laughs.
I may be mistaken, but when he saw his mother, he actually looked like a deer ready to bolt. I know he struggled a bit when Angie went to snatch a hold of him.
It’s one of those stories that will make good retelling.
Alec will be 21, will be a big strapping guy, and the relatives will roll out the story of when he was 2, during great grandma’s 83 birthday party. When he made his daring, but brief, Great Escape.