Many years ago I remember being at the Farmer's Market in West Palm Beach and hearing the announcer say, "Will little Billy's lost mommy please report to the office." Everyone in the Farmer's Market snickered. It was cute....it over quick....the place did not go on lockdown and little Billy and his mom had ice cream. Back in my day life was not so scary....but things change...people get meaner....and children get hurt by bad people every day. I have been in stores when they make the announcement, "Code Adam" and it makes me sick at my stomach. Why? Because I know that somewhere there is a frantic mother who cannot find her child. I know this feeling first hand because I have been that parent. I was a good momma and very observant but....it only takes the blink of an eye for you to got from "Yes, I am a good momma" to "I am the worst momma on this earth". I did it in less than 60 seconds. When Kat was 2 we went to the Vanity Fair outlet in Boaz, AL. Outlets were just taking off and this was the closest one to where I lived. It was a beautiful two hour drive and we looked so forward to this adventure. Kat was two and so I took her little umbroller(umbrella folding stroller) so she would not get tired. We had been shopping for about an hour and Kat had been sleeping soundly in the stroller when I looked down and realized my stroller was minus one very small redheaded little girl. I went nuts. My mom and I looked everywhere and then I went to the Security Office. The officer was so kind, asked me to describe her, and immediately shut the store down issuing a Code Adam. Yes, some people grumbled because they could not leave....but in a matter of just a few minutes an elderly lady came to the front holding Kat by the hand. It seems my wayward two year old had figured out how to get out of the stroller, climbed into the rack of jeans and wandered off. When she came out of the jeans she did not see anyone she recognized and found a lady who looked like her granny and asked her to help her find her granny. The whole event was over in less than 10 minutes...but it seemed like hours. We finished shopping and met several people who told us how glad they were that we found her. My little redhead...wearing purple Osh Kosh overalls....and wildcat tennis shoes. Next time you are somewhere and a Code Adam goes out...please understand that this parent is beside themselves....they are NOT necessarily bad parents...they may be in a bad experience.....like me. Code Adam to a parent is terrifying....my thoughts now when I hear it....Stop and Pray. Pray that the parent finds their child....and pray that the child is safe. Be aware of your surroundings. I hope this never happens to you.
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
3 months ago