Friday, May 30, 2008

I couldn't bring myself to dial the numbers 9-1-1

So I called our local police department number instead. I knew that it would get me to the dispatch center. I couldn't believe that I was actually making this call. My stomach was in knots and I was doing my best to keep it together.

"Hello dispatch" said the lady on the other end of the line.
"Yes. I need to report two of my children missing."
"How long have they been gone?"
"A little over an hour. We've searched the neighborhood, called all their friends. My husband is still out in the car driving around looking for them."

I went on to explain that my husband had been outside working in the yard and the kids were with him. Zoe and Zeke (our dogs) had been out there with them. Zoe is pretty good about staying in the yard but sometimes she gets out front. T. couldn't see her in the back yard so he told G. and j. to go in the house and look for her. A few minutes later T. comes in the house and finds Zoe downstairs out of her crate. He goes to find G and j. and they are nowhere to be seen. The neighbor kids at the apartments tell him that they saw them but that they were looking for Zoe and had gone down to the school.

While all this is happening I am at my mom's house sitting with my 97 year old grandmother so my mom could go out for a about an hour or so and get some visiting done. T. calls me at 4:30 to ask if I have seen them, thinking they may have walked over to grandma's house in their search. I hadn't seen them and I couldn't leave to help look for them because my grandmother can't be left alone. T. is left to search by himself. I am thinking that they will be showing up any minute now.

J. is waiting at home to call him if they show up there and M. is playing at a friends house. My mom was supposed to be done with her visiting at 5:00 but goes over. While I'm sitting there watching the news a story comes on about a man who had been casing a Wal-Mart looking for kids to molest. It happened just a few miles away. I am beginning to get a bit nervous.

T. comes to my moms house on foot because he's walked all through the grade school and Jr. High area looking for them. I've called the friends houses that aren't in our neighborhood but are in walking distance from our house to see if they may have stopped off there. Nothing. No one has seen them. T. takes the car that I have there with me and sets out again criss crossing the neighborhoods looking for any sign of our kids. My mom comes home at 5:30 and I hurry home to see if there has been any news. T. drives by me and picks me up. Now it's been an hour since they've been gone. And all we know is that they think that the dog is lost and are looking for her. How far would they go? Have they been picked up?

T. drops me off at home and I try one more friends house to see if they might be there. I knock on the door and ask if they are there. The mother says no and I tell her I am about ready to call the police. Which I am. I go back home and pick up the phone. Should I dial 9-1-1 or should I call dispatch. For some reason I can't dial those three numbers. I can't. If I dial those numbers I will come undone. So I call the local number that we have listed. I talk with the lady on the other end telling her what has happened.

"O.k. what are your children's ages?"
"Nine and Five"
"Is the oldest child a male?"
"What is his name?"
"G. O."
"What was he wearing?"

At this point I feel like I am going to vomit. I shouldn't be making this call. My kids should be home playing in the back yard, arguing with one another in their bedroom. Answering me when I yell their names as I go through the house, instead of the eerie silence that comes back to me.

"He's wearing green cargo shorts and a brown skate shirt with fire on it." (Please let that be what he was wearing. I didn't really pay attention to what he had on today.)
"What color is his hair?"
"It's light brown but it's in a very short buzz cut."
"And the five year old? What is her name?"
"What was she wearing?"
"Levi capri's and a gray t-shirt with a lady bug on the front."( I know I'm right about this one because I laid them out for her.)
"What color is her hair?"
"Dark brown just past her shoulders with two small braids in the front."

I then give her my name and she verifies my address and telephone number and tells me she has a couple of officers on the way but to go through my house and double check to make sure that the kids aren't there. I already have I wanted to yell at her but I agree and hang up the phone. I run through the house yelling for the kids again and only silence greets me. I go back out front to wait for the police car to come around the corner thinking this can't really be happening. All the while that footage and the story about the guy in WalMart running through my head along with a prayer "Let them be safe. Let them come home."

As I come out of the house the mother whose door I had knocked on earlier comes over to tell me that her son is with them as well. Something I didn't know. This makes me feel a bit better thinking that three kids, two of them 9 year olds, would be harder to take than two. But still I am nervous. She has walked down to the school as well because the kids at the apartments told her the same thing about them going to look for our dog. I call T. to let him know the police are on their way. As I'm talking with this mom she informs me that a drug deal just went down right out in front of the apartments as all this is going on.

I'm on the phone with T. as I'm standing in my front yard when this mother from the apartments looks over down the street and says "There they are!" I look down and see G. and his friend walking on the sidewalk across the street. Relief floods through me. I tell T. Then I see that j. isn't with them. I'm walking towards them and yell "Where is j?" He points behind him and then I see her about 20 feet behind...typical she doesn't walk very fast. As G. is crossing the street to the corner of our cul-de-sac the police car rounds the corner and sees him and stops. I walk down and get there just as T. pulls up. We have a talk with G. and j. with the officer. The friend and his mom are off to the side.

We thank the officer for his time and head back home. Our kids have never done something like this before. They went looking for our dog and were in this big field full of trees and dirt that is kind of at the bottom of our street. When they got there I think they were more playing than looking for Zoe because they came home with "treasures" that they had found. It was far enough away that they couldn't hear us yelling and it had enough hills of dirt and trees and everything that the kids were hidden from view. It was very, very scary. The kids now know that if one of the dogs get out that they are only allowed to look in our going out of the cul-de-sac. They have to have one of us adults with them if they want to go further.

If G. or j. had just went downstairs to see if Zoe was down there this all could have been avoided but they didn't and it wasn't. I now have a very small iota of an idea of what the parents of missing children go through. No parent should EVER have to make that call. I feel for anyone who has had to or ever has to. It's a nightmare. I'm grateful that I was able to wake up from mine. And my prayers go out to those who don't get to wake up but have to live with the nightmare of having a child go missing and not return.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Breaking Ground

Well my dear husband was able to get the post holes dug for the new fence that we are installing with part of our "economic stimulus" money... at least on the East side of the house. We were also able to get the posts up in the holes and braced but no cement yet. I'm hoping Friday will be a good day for that. Unfortunately because we did get them up and braced, the red neck fence had to come down and I didn't get pictures. So for now the dogs have to stay in the house. Zeke by himself isn't too bad but Zoe and he together are a storm of fur and slobber and they are shedding.

The kids have just 7 days of school left (counting today) . Actually that would be 6 and 1/2 because the last day isn't a full day. We've had some issues with J's grades. He was telling us that he was doing his homework in Algebra, when in reality he wasn't. We get grade updates everyday and the algebra teacher just put down that he was passing not what his actual grade was. She did this because last term we got upset because it kept showing as an F because she wouldn't take the time to enter in his scores. So, basically the same thing has happened this term, because she wouldn't put the scores into Power School so we could see what he was doing. We trusted J. to tell us the truth and trusted the teacher to let us know if something was up. I'm kind of ticked that she didn't send an email to us telling us that he hadn't been handing in assignments or even a progress report. Maybe she did and J. just didn't give it to us. I'll have to check into that. Needless to say J. got in trouble and was VERY unhappy about that. He hates being in trouble and I hope he learned something from that.

We are going to (hopefully) go camping the day that school gets out. Just an overnighter but the kids are still looking forward to it. We need to have the yard fenced by then so that we can leave the dogs.

That's what's been going on around here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Toothbrush Fell in the Toilet...

On the bright side, I get to buy a new toothbrush.

That's about the way my life has been this last little while. There have been bad moments interspersed with good ones. The bad ones have been pretty bad but the good ones even it all out. I guess that's just how life goes.

The good moments have been... Mother's Day was very nice I got four new rose bushes that I can't wait to watch grow and bloom. I got the most beautiful card written by my second son, it made me cry. And also a lovely plaque that he made at scouts that says "The sweetest sounds to mortals given are found in Mother, Home and Heaven." (I can't remember the author of the quote). My oldest son did fabulous in his final band concert...he played the steel drums. How cool is that? And he got an award (a Symphony chocolate bar) for having all 12 major scales memorized. My youngest daughter graduated from pre-school and will be heading off to Kindergarten in the Fall and she lost her second tooth, all in one day. A procedure done on my dad went better than expected and hopefully it will help his quality of life go up. Our "economic stimulus" money came our way. With some of that money we got the wood to build a real fence so we can take down our redneck one. (Which I REALLY need to take a picture of for you to see just how red necked it is). So that means that the dogs will be outside soon. My oldest daughter had a great program about Utah where she sang fabulously. My husband has been amazingly supportive and loving and that is why I am still sane and doing my best to focus on the positive.