Not Safe

Published on: October 17, 2010

Filled Under: Ask the Reader (YOU)

Views: 1464

I have to confess…I made a mistake…and it was not safe.

On Wednesday of last week, I rushed to work. I looked over my plans for teaching that day, ate lunch, and focused on the deadline that Jill and I had. Because we are doing a redesign of our program, the last couple weeks have been strenuous – getting all the paperwork completed and reaching perfection with planning and details, etc.. I lead class from 12-3pm, assisted students in the lab, and worked with Jill on our paperwork.

At 4:40pm, I checked my phone. I saw that I had a text from my husband. It stated, “Let me know if you are not going to be able to pick up C today.” He was referring to me picking him up at 6pm at after school care.

Instantly, I panicked. I jumped out of my chair because I realized that I had forgotten to send Carter to after school care that day. I had not sent a note with instructions for staying at school. That meant that he rode the bus home. I check my watch again- 4:41pm. Carter got off the bus at 4:10pm.

My heart sank. Oh no! He’s home alone! He can’t get in! WHERE IS HE? IS HE SAFE? As my hands began to tremble, my mind became clouded. I couldn’t remember my neighbors name. I scrolled through the phone book on my phone. I dialed his number. It rang – and rang – and rang. No answer. Still panicking, I called another neighbor. Again – no answer. I called a third neighbor – no answer. My panicking went to another level. Still shaking, tears began to roll down my face. I could barely see, my fingers weren’t typing well, and I couldn’t remember my friend’s names. I kept scrolling through my phone until I came to a neighbor’s name.

My collegue Jill came to my rescue by asking, “Who can I call?” I gave her a name and number and luckily, she got through. My friend Janna ran down to my house and called me back. Even though it only took a minute, each second inched by at a snail’s pace. I anxiously and fearfully waited for her call.

“Dawn, he’s here, next door… playing at Brad’s with his kids. He can watch him until you get home too.” I let out the biggest sigh of RELIEF, but I was still pretty shaken up. I quickly gathered my things up and drove home. I made it home it record time, (imagine that) although I don’t recall speeding at all.

As soon as I saw him, I scooped him up into my arms and hugged him. It felt so good to have him in my arms, knowing that he was safe! As we walked back to our home, he said that it “Kinda freaked him out that we weren’t home.” He continued to tell me that he thought I was in my office working and couldn’t hear him knocking. Then, he thought his dad was in the garage, but couldn’t hear him. He kept knocking, but no one answered so he went next door. “I think my mom and dad aren’t home so could I play with you for a while?”

I was so proud of him. “You did the right thing in that situation,” I told him. I also apologized and said that I made a mistake. He said, “You don’t have to apologize. It’s just a mistake.” I love him to pieces!

Isn’t it ironic that this happened while my Health, Safety, & Nutrition classes are in the SAFETY unit?

Luckily, we had already had those safety conversations about what to do if no one was home so he knew what to do. Would YOUR child? It’s a good reminder to revisit those conversations again. It’s not just a one time conversation. Also be sure to have all your contact info in you child’s backpack. You want the person to be able to contact you to let you know they have your child 😉

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