I had a chiropractor appointment this morning at 8:30. I got up, fed Anna, ate my breakfast, and snuck out the back door of the house. Lee was still asleep. Now, we have an old house, and Lee's bedroom is an addition off the back, that has a door to the kitchen, and then an outside entrance. We normally keep that back door dead-bolted locked, but since I left out that door, I unlocked it.
The chiropractor was nice and relaxing. I came home, and today is irrigation day, so our driveway and yard is flooded. As I was walking in I noticed a poopy diaper on the ground and threw it away...weird, how did a diaper fall out of the garbage can? Oh well. I came in and smiled at Cody, sitting on the couch by Anna, who was totally asleep and looking very cute. "Where's Lee?" I asked Cody, thinking maybe he was taking a bath or something.
"Oh, he's still asleep," Cody replied. Odd. I hadn't seen him in his room, where I just walked in...maybe he was just so quiet that I hadn't noticed? I went back to his bedroom, and no Lee.
Panic. I raced outside to see his pajamas on the ground next to where I had picked up his poopy diaper, and it became all to clear that Lee was gone. I ran back inside, screamed at Cody to come help me, then ran back out, soaking my socks and shoes as I traipsed through the flooded lawn, screaming Lee's name at the top of my lungs. I've never seen Cody get dressed that quickly, and in less than five seconds, he was by my side, running through the yard and down the street, yelling after Lee.
So many thoughts were racing through my brain...what if he's hurt? What if he got hit by a car? there's no cars in the road, and the people down the street don't seem to know anything about a naked little boy running around...oh yes, he's naked too, what will the neighbors think?...who cares what the neighbors think, my son is missing! Oh, I'm a rotten mother...How could I have left the back door unlocked? Why didn't Cody notice Lee getting up? Don't blame this on Cody, it's not his fault....where is Lee? There's a canal at the top of our yard, what if he fell in?...what if he got kidnapped?... Did I mention he's naked?
Cody went back in the house to get his phone and call the police, and I heard Anna from inside the house screaming bloody murder. She must have awaken and fallen off the couch. But at least she's alive, which is more than I could say for Lee at that moment, so I decided to ignore my poor baby girl for the time being. I went most of the way to the park, thinking perhaps Lee went to go play. But the cars and people in the street and in the park don't seem to have just noticed a little naked boy run by, which I think would be a pretty startling sight, so I go back to the yard, where I found his PJ's, and I'm numbly listening to Cody give the police our address so they can come help us look for Lee.
That's when I heard the most beautiful words in the world: "Oh, there he is!"
I came inside to re-group, picked up Anna, gave her a huge hug, and then thought to grab the camera for a quick picture. Might as well blog about it, right? Apparently, Lee saw an "American Flag" and wanted to go play with it. He was all the way at the end of our yard/landlord/neighbor's yard. Yes, he was buck-naked, but he was totally fine. I had one of those emotional mix-ups, where I was thrilled and relieved to see him back, but also incredibly angry and frustrated that he'd left.
Now, I realized the five minutes of terror this morning have taught me an important lesson on motherhood. I hope they've taught Cody the same thing. We're both a lot more observant and careful now. And I can tell you right now I won't be going out the back door any time soon!