No, not the show, silly! Being lost. Getting lost. (Why would I want to write about the show...(I mean just because Jacob can erase 6 seasons of mystification by uttering "Really Kate, it's just a chalk line on a cave wall. It means Nothing!") Grrrrr...But I digress...
Jack and I went up to see my family this past Saturday. Great weather, so much sunshine it almost, ALMOST, makes up for the crappy rainy windy cold (again with the digressions) weather that has been our Spring. We all went to one of my favorite parks from when I was a kid. It was very much a memory-making kind of day. Jack was playing on the playground, which was super crowded. He had made his new friends, as usual, and they were generally chasing each other around and playing superhero. I hung out with my brother John and my Dad on the sidelines.
me: He always has to hang around with older boys...sigh...
John: He's gotta learn!
me: Yeah, but they're always trouble, saying things and stuff... that are too... old... (I know my argument is weak). Oh wait, look what Jack's doing, let me get my camera. (I fumble around in my purse.)
John: Okay, if you're not actually gonna keep the camera out, can I hold it please because then I can actually take the pictures when something good happens?
me: Wait, where is Jack going??
(Jack started to wander off the playground, following the "older" boy, who was probably around 8.)
me: Let's go, he really is way over there now.
(I saw Jack walking off the playground and towards the parking area where my car was parked.)
me: (starting to jog a bit) JACK!!!!!
John: What's he doing? He looks mad or something.
me: I bet that kid is telling him to come with him. He KNOWS better than to leave the playground, what's gotten into him??!!
(John and I jog around the playground and down towards the parking area, yelling for Jack to come back. He turns around. His arms are crossed and he looks... mad? upset?)
John: He looks mad. Is he crying?
(we finally reach him)
me: Jack! (I say a bit harshly) Where do you think you're going!? (then I see that he's crying) What's wrong? What happened? Did that boy say something to you?
Jack: (sobbing uncontrollably) He- h-h- he said that you left me! (Oh the stupid 8-year-old little shit)
me: Whaaatttt??? (I pick Jack up and he collapses onto my shoulder in a wet heap) Tell me what you were doing? Why would he say that?
Jack: I couldn't fiiiiind you and, and he said that you probably left or went to the bathroom so I was looking for the carrrrrr! (more crying)
me: Why were you following him off the playground? Oh honey you know we were right on the bench watching you the whole time.
Jack: Then why didn't you come get me sooner?
me: I didn't really see that you needed me until I saw you walking away. I thought you were following the other boy and were leaving the playground.
Jack: I thought you leffffffttt meeeeeeee! And I didn't know what to doooooo! (sobbing)
me: okay, okay, it's alright, we're right here.
John: Jack, we had our eyes on you the whole time.
me: Did that boy ask you to follow him off the playground?
Jack: Noooo, his Mom said he had to go so I was looking for you. Then I was glad that the car was still there because then I knew you didn't leave me.
me: (Of course my eyes start tearing up) Well, it's okay now. Next time I'll make sure you know exactly where we are sitting so you can find us. I'm so sorry!
(I then told him about time when I was 5 and I got lost at an amusement park)
Jack: Really? Grandpa let you go in the ladies room all by yourself?
me: Yep, and when I came out I went one way and he went the other and we kept missing each other until I found a policeman that helped me.
Jack: Good thing the policeman didn't arrest Grandpa for being bad.
(clearly this is all the parent's fault in Jack's mind!)
Anyway, it was an awful feeling when I realized what Jack had been going through. I mean, in his mind, we had left him. He totally believed he was all alone. That thought makes me feel a bit sick. Mostly because I had been there once. I had been 5 and lost. I knew exactly how bad those couple of minutes really felt. :(