Sunday, November 27, 2011
Thanksgiving Perfection. One Minor Hiccup.
The kids had a blast.
We had happy hour for free every night across the street from the house. We prepared an amazing Thanksgiving meal right there in the kitchen. We said our prayer and had a nice toast. There were fireplaces, candles, and no drama. We went on our big walk right after dinner to make room for our pie.
We had a free breakfast buffet every morning at the restaurant across the street. We went in to the darling town of Nisswa to do some shopping on Friday. It truly was as good as everyone was thinking it would be, and I am so grateful to my mom for making it happen. It was warm, happy, and food-filled, a fine tribute to my dad. We had a picture of him on the table, and we had a picture of him carving a turkey on the counter.
There was one glitch. And I'm still shaken from it, and I'm trying to figure out how to recover from it.
My kids had been looking forward to this trip since the day we found out about it (as I learned from A, for "three weeks and one day"). Especially A. He loved the place so much he didn't want to leave it. The first night we were there we left for a short while to go see my sister's house and where she worked, and that didn't go so well. A just wanted to be back at the big house. The next morning I had to have some stern words with him because he was all grumpy at breakfast. After we talked about it, he told me that he was just looking forward to being at the house so much that he didn't want to leave--couldn't he just have breakfast at the house? So I decided that if we were just going to be going across the street to eat or whatever, he didn't have to go anymore. He knew where we were if he needed us. He did go with us into Nisswa and enjoyed it very much, but he had brought his birthday money and wanted to spend it.
So anyway, we get to Saturday morning. Yesterday. We're all packing up, getting ready to go. Checkout is at noon. We decide to run over for our last breakfast. A does not want to go. I decide I won't make him. He just wants to hang out on the comfy couch and drink cocoa and watch Spongebob. So I tell him: if you need anything, you know where we are--just come get me. And we go over. I don't think too much about it.
I'm not gone long--perhaps a half hour. I head back to the house because I can't breathe and I need my nasal spray. Nephew1 and his best friend who had come along on our trip meet me at the door. A is on the couch looking upset. Nephew1 tells me that A got locked out of the house and somebody brought him to the resort front desk (just the next building over on the street) where they saw him because they were at the gift shop there. I go over to him and he's cold and shaken up, and then I get the whole story:
He decided to go out and get a root beer. We had kept all the pop outside on the front porch because it was like a refrigerator. The door shut behind him. He didn't know he needed the key card to get back inside. So there he is, outside on the wet cold morning, in his socks, and he can't get in. He walked through the grass and mud around the whole perimeter of the building trying all the doors, and he couldn't get in. So he was panicking. He says he didn't think he should come get me in the restaurant because he wasn't wearing his shoes. So he's out there panicking. Then a couple drive up in their car and ask if he's ok. He says he's locked out of the house. They ask where his family is. He says, "at breakfast." They ask where. He says he doesn't know, because he didn't know the NAME of the restaurant! The decide to take him to the front desk so they offer him a pair of gloves, and drive him to the front desk where he runs into Nephew1 and his friend.
That's the jist of the story, and he's fine now. He's over it, and thank God he's okay. But people, here's my issue that I cannot get over--he got in their car. HE GOT INTO THE CAR OF A STRANGER! All I can think about is Jacob Wetterling and all the kids like him. I was near hysterical. I was crying so hard, hugging him so tight. I tried to talk to him yesterday about getting in cars with strangers, and it's so hard to make him understand. He processes things so differently from a normal child, and explaining things like that can be so difficult. He thought, they weren't strangers because they were trying to help him! I'm grateful for the nice people that helped him out. I don't know who they are. I know there are more good people in the world than evil. But there is evil out there, and my A is a vulnerable kid.
I felt like a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad parent yesterday. I felt so low. So ashamed. So guilty. He's 10, but I still should not have left him. I was across the street! But I left him. I had told him what to do if he needed me! But I left him. I left him. Alone. I feel like I can never do that again. And I feel like I don't deserve him. Everything is fine. But it could have gone so very wrong. It could have happened. And it would be my fault. I left him. My baby.