This past Sunday, my son and I helped two lost little boys who had become separated from their mothers in a crowded park. We had just spent a lovely but long day out in the park exploring trees and wildlife for a science project my son was doing. (Well, he did the research while I played assistant, carrying his books.)
We were on our way home when we encountered two boys who had clearly been crying. They were talking to two women and we heard one of the boys say that he knows his mother's first name but not her phone number (the other boy didn't know his mom's information either, and was less inclined to talk). We immediately decided to help, and while one of the women (a mom with two young children of her own) went off in one direction to find assistance, I went the other way, and managed to flag down a parks department employee who tried calling the main office. She couldn't reach anyone there but she stayed with us while she kept trying to find someone on her radio and on her phone.
In the meantime, my amazing 11-year-old son chatted with the two little boys, who turned out to be 4 and 5 years old. They had been scootering, and had zoomed ahead of their moms and the older sister of one of the boys. The boy remembered that his sister had on a red or maybe pink jacket. They told my son that they were on the path nearby when they lost their moms.
We decided to bring them back to the spot where they were last together with their mothers and a few minutes later, my son spotted a girl on a scooter wearing a maroon and pink jacket. Behind her was a frantic-looking woman talking on her cell phone. Bingo. I waved my arms and she saw me, and then spotted her son. She began to cry as soon as she knew her son and his friend were safe, and began to cry with relief and joy while she called the other boy's equally frantic mother.
This small saga had a happy ending, thanks to the two lovely ladies who first noticed the crying little boys, and thanks to my wonderful son who knew instinctively what to do. "We are gonna help them, Mom, and we are not leaving," was what he said, before I got the words out myself. I realized that I was crying too, when it was all over and the boys were reunited with their moms. I hadn't realized that my heart had been racing with worry, and with sympathy for what I knew those two moms must have been feeling as they searched in vain for their boys. And I hugged my son tight and told him what I felt--pride, and gratefulness, for this happy ending and for the wonderful person my son is growing up to become.
Would your child know what to do if he was lost? Does he know your phone number, and how to find a safe adult to ask for help? Would you know what to do if, heaven forbid, your child became separated from you in a crowded place? And if you have an older child, would she know how to help a lost child? Read my tips and review them with your kids, regularly and especially before going to a crowded place like a park or a mall.
- Lost Child Safety Tips
- Safety Tips for Kids - What to Teach a Child to Do If He Gets Lost
- What Parents Should Do If a Child is Lost
- How to Help a Lost Child