This is one of those times when you say, “Where was her mother?!”
It was Avery’s parent teacher conference. Ryan and I both wanted to go so we gathered the flock, two in the double stroller, and one on foot, and headed up the hill to school. Avery and Mason happily built tree houses out of Lego’s while Brittain did everything she could to wriggle free from my inhibiting arms. I gave her my keys. My cell phone. Eventually she won and joined her siblings on the floor.
We continued to look over Avery’s work and talk with her teacher. After awhile Avery came over and asked where Brittain was. From the corner of my eye I saw that the back door that opens to the kindergarten playground was open a crack. I jumped up and flew out the door. When I saw that the gate to the playground that leads to the parking lot and road was open my heart fell to the floor and stopped beating.
Brittain loves to be outside. I knew immediately if she saw that she could get out she would. I headed first to the street, running and screaming her name. I scanned up and down what is easily one of the busiest streets this part of town. All the while praying for her safety. Avery came out and I hollered for her to check the back playground. She was nowhere to be found.
Then Ryan came out and was heading the opposite direction. I was in a complete panic. After a while Ryan yelled out, “I see her!” He pointed to the main playground. She had made it down 30-ish concrete steps and was standing at the base of the hill, all but hidden from view, in a pile of gravel. Happy as a clam. She didn’t even know she was missing!
We both ran to her. Ryan made if first and held her tighter than I’ve ever seen. I continued praying. This time in thanksgiving. Once Ryan placed Brittain in my arms my heart started to beat again. Race, actually. I’m sure it was just trying to make up for all the beats it had skipped when I couldn’t find my baby.
It’s crazy how fast things can happen. It is a miracle that she was kept safe and I am so grateful for that.