Monday, August 4, 2008

Every Mother's Worst Nightmare

Over the weekend, we had a flood in the garage. It was awful. We had beautiful weather outside, but instead of being able to enjoy it we were stuck working in the garage, trying to salvage what we could. We were kind of using it as storage space for our prepping to move stuff. So now we have tons of wet boxes and garbage, but we can't put it in the garage because the garage floor is all wet. I'm sure the association is going to find us in violation for having trash on the side of the house. Anyways....

We had a guy out to find out where the water was coming from, and we found the toilet in the master bath was leaking. This morning the guy came back to replace the toilet, and he found he needed another part. So he took off to Home Depot. He said he'd let himself out.

I had some Baby Crackstein playing in the living room for Jackson to watch and I was doing some housework. I went to go check on Jackson, and he was gone. The front door was wide open.

Thus began the longest ten minutes of my life. My heart raced, and I went into an immediate panic. I flew out the door into the pouring rain, screaming my son's name at the top of my lungs. We live about a quarter of a mile off of a very large, busy road. Every bad thing that could possibly be happening to my baby ran through my head and I could barely breathe. I ran back into the house, thinking I could cover more ground in the car so I grabbed my keys, purse and phone.

Once I was back outside, I remembered the pond across the street. Jack loves water, but he can't swim. I fearfully headed down the muddy slope to the water, expecting to see my son drowned. No sign of him at the pond. I ran back up the embankment, yelling out Jackson's name and dialed 911. As I waited on HOLD, (Dear 911: When a mother calls and says "My son is missing!" your response should NOT be "hold please") I shouted out to Jackson more and started checking all the neighbor's yards that aren't fenced in. While I was on the phone with 911, I came back around the block and saw a tiny pair of feet on the other side of the car.

Wherever he was, he must have heard me calling for him and came back to the house. He was waiting by the side of the Jeep. I told the 911 operator I found him, we came into the house, and I hung up the phone. We were both soaked from top to toe, drenched with rainwater. I was bawling my eyes out, holding him tight and never wanting to let go - my heart overwhelmed with fear, relief, panic, thankfulness my baby's safety, anger at the handyman for leaving the door open, anger at myself for having my back turned and trusting the handyman to close the door (but seriously, who leaves a front door wide open like that? Was he born in a barn?!?!?!) For his part, Jackson thought he had a super fun adventure in the rain. He was laughing and giggling and had no idea why I was so upset. He was totally clueless! The police came by a few minutes later to check on us and make sure everything was okay. He kept telling me silly things like, "Ma'am, it's alright" and "Ma'am, you need to breathe".

The handyman guy came back and let me tell you, if looks could kill I would be in jail for murder. I can give a good stinkeye, but this was stinkeye DELUXE as I asked him, "did you know you left the door open?" NOT ONLY did he ruin my $40 bath sheet, but he also let my 22 month old toddler out of the house to wander the streets. It was all I could do to keep from screaming that handyman straight out of the house, and that would have been mild compared to the can of whoop-ass I wanted to open up on him. If assault and battery weren't a crime, he would have left my house with a broken nose and a black eye!

I am now sipping on a double strength cup of chamomile tea, because I need it desperately. Jackson is watching Curious George, undoubtedly getting ideas on how else to raise a ruckus and give Mama a heart attack.

I'm done with today. Just done. Today can end now, I've had enough.


Coupon Chris said...

Thank God he is okay. Breathe sweetie.

That handyman is lucky there are laws. What kind of moron leaves the door open like that?

Chamomille. I think you might need something stronger now that your heart attack is over.

The Mama said...

Oh my God. I have been there, twice now with Ian. Boy knows how to push those handicapped buttons and let himself out, once at the library and once at the community center. It's a horrible feeling.

I agree with Chris, I would have been reaching for the hard core liquor in your shoes.

I'm so glad he's safe. So scary.