Thursday, March 24, 2005

Early Morning Escapade [Escapee]

This morning I woke to the sound of a young child crying.

No, that isn't very unusual. Kimi usually wakes up crying every morning. The difference today was that it was not Kimi, Abi, or Zac.

My bedroom window overlooks the parking area in our townhouse community. So everything that happens in the parking area I can hear it from my bedroom. This is particularly aggravating at 3:00 in the morning when our neighbors are fighting.

At any rate, the crying was panicky, so I popped my head out of bed and looked out the window. I didn't see anything at first, so I strained to listen...maybe it was Kimi and I had misheard. But when the child cried again, I knew for certain it wasn't Kimi, and that the cry was definitely from outside.

My rational mind figured that someone was getting their child in the car to take them to daycare, not unusual, but I am and always have been concerned when children cry. It is always best to be safe in that regard. It's like I have sensors out for whenever a kid is hurt or scared, and a need to make sure that they are okay.

Then I saw her. She was in nothing but a diaper and a t-shirt, running up the sidewalk.

I was out of bed immediately shouting to Caleb that there was a baby outside by herself, and running out the my pajamas.

A group of kids getting ready for highschool were peering out at her from their doorway when I reached her. I immediately scooped her up and told them to call 911 and gave them my address.

The little girl couldn't have been more than 3 years old. She was frightened and cold. So, I took her in, clothed her and we tried to console this little frightened girl.

It was about 15 minutes later that a police officer arrived.

Time enough for me to actually get dressed into something more bit more appropriate...

Time enough for me to wonder if perhaps someone was hurt and needed help, and that is what prompted her to leave her house.

Time enough for me to wonder what would have happened if...

Thankfully, that wasn't the case.

After the officer arrived, we both went out looking for where she could have come from. Asking people if they knew her, and no one seemed to recognize her from anywhere.

However, the officer noticed that one of the townhouse doors was open, and proceded to investigate. Apparently one of her siblings left the door open after leaving for school, and she wandered out after them. Her guardian was sleeping, and had no idea. Imagine waking up and learning that you lost your 3 year old??

I know what this feels like, I merely have to think back on when I was 16 and my sister became lost at Disney World-she was 4 years old. I found her, crying with a group of people who were asking her questions. I remember seeing her, and her seeing me. The feeling is indescribable.

Zac and Abi, thankfully were home to see all of this...why would I want them to witness this? So that when I told them that the very same thing could happen to Kimi, they would understand the gravity of the situation.

And it isn't so much making sure that the doors are locked that struck me was the fact that had the little girl's door not already been ajar when the officer went to investigate where she may have come one would have known where she lives.

We live our lives in little boxes with blinders on...this alerts me to the necessity of knowing my neighbors.

Caleb and I both felt bad for the lady, waking up to this scenario. Caleb suggested we bake her some cookies...I think it is a good idea.


At 09:36, Anonymous richd said...

Getting to know your neighbors is great! I'm renting a house and got to know mine soon after moving in. Most of them are nice enough, and they are just as curious about who I am and why a little girl visits every other weekend. I want them to know I have a daughter and it's even better when they have kids she can play with. But the best part is knowing my neighbors will make sure ALL of the kids are safe when they are playing.

At 10:51, Blogger Kassi said...

Amen to that! We've been here a year, it's time to start networking so that the summer months will be safe for play.


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