It was one of those hot summer days, where it's so humid that it was almost pointless to get up and take a shower. And going through the trouble of rinsing the sweat from the day before makes no sense. I wanted to stay inside all day and enjoy my central air conditioning. It was an August Sunday afternoon, so both my husband and I were home. The hubs was planning on doing some yard work.
Keeping Miss K in the house was nearly impossible. She loved the outdoors and if daddy was going to be outside so was she. She had not been outside very long when her little friend Dee came over from two houses down. She was having a birthday party and invited Miss K over. Her parents had rented a bounce house, slide and set up a kiddie pool for the celebration.
I wasn't so sure about letting her go. Both girls had been playing together for quite some time, we were cordial with her parents but didn't really know them. Miss K begged. She gave us the sad, puppy dog face that usually melted my heart. It was tough living in "the sticks" with not many friends to play with.
I agreed to let her go. I told her to stay in the front yard where the party was and not to go in the house. She promised. The hubs said he would keep an eye on her from our front yard while he was busy clipping bushes and washing his truck.
An hour later the hubs came in the house to get himself a drink. He told me Miss K was still outside playing and having a good time. I stepped outside to take a peek and make sure I could see what she was up to. I watched her jumping in the bounce house. I can only assume, but I'm sure she had a big smile on her face.
After several hours at the party, I figured Miss K would be tired of playing outside in the heat. The hubs went down to retrieve her from the bounce house. Most of the other children had gone home, but being a neighbor has it's advantages of being able to stay longer after the party is over.
I knew something was wrong when my husband looked back at me from their yard. Miss K wasn't in the bounce house. She wasn't in the yard. Her friend Dee was still outside with one of her cousins and few adults were standing around chatting. My husband went asked Dee's father, MJ if Miss K was in the house. He shook his head no. He told my husband that she told him she was going home and had left about 15 minutes earlier.
But she wasn't home.
It was like a fatherly bond amongst the men was formed. They stopped drinking their cups and started searching for my baby girl. My first born. You could hear them calling her name. Shouting her name as they looked in the woods.
I was knocked into shock at the thought that she was gone. Did she head to the train tracks? Was she in the woods? Did another party goer take her home??
I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I should have never let her go. But it was just two houses over. She was within eyesight.
Then all of a sudden our other neighbor, Ed, across the street from Dee's house came outside. He said she was on the side of his house playing with his cat's kittens. My husband ran to her and grabbed her. The emotions of being angry, sad, and happy all rushed within me. She was safe.
We showered her with kisses at first. Then she was scolded for wandering away. That experience taught me a lesson too. I realized that my child was still a bit young to go alone. I was grateful and spared that day. It could have been much worse.
Prompt #3 Your first panic attack.
This is true story that happened when Miss K was five years old. I had pushed the memory back and when I saw this prompt, it was the first one I could recall that caused a panic.