Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lost.

He was two-and-a-half. We were shopping the sale racks at the Gap, the three of us. That's all we were back then: Dad, Mom, and Little Boy. We took turns trying on clothes, trying clothes on the toddler, and chasing the toddler. He climbed in the rounders and hid. Crawled under the dressing-room door to ditch me while I had too few clothes on to chase him. Sauntered up to strangers and said, "Hi!", melting them with his million-dollar smile. We took him by the hand, pulled him closer. Joked about getting a leash. Then suddenly, laughing, he ran right out of the store into the main corridor of the Beverly Center and disappeared in a sea of strangers.

Hearts pounding, we looked down the crowded walkways and saw throngs of shoppers, but no little blonde boys. Or maybe lots of little blonde boys, but none of them ours. A sense of panic and dread came over me as we searched store after store, trying not to call his name too loudly as we somewhat frantically searched for our lost child.

And we eventually found him. His only captor was the animated feature playing on an in-store video feed. He was inside the Disney Store. Of course!

This time it's different. I'm not shopping for clothes, although I may be a little distracted as I try on an ever-changing assortment of roles. But I feel a familiar sense of panic and dread I haven't encountered in years. A heaviness weighs on me 24/7. I didn't cry my eyes out at the mall. But I am now. Several times a day. The Boy, now about six feet tall, once again happily, carelessly ditches, hides, approaches strangers he thinks are his friends. I do everything I can to pull him closer, and he usually responds with warmth and affection. Yet sometimes I still wish for that proverbial leash. Because this time I fear we won't be able to find him and reach him so quickly, or in so safe a place. Even though right now he's fast asleep in his own bed downstairs, I'm pretty sure our son is...lost.

This is the boy I wrote about here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. If you can find it in your heart, please pray for him. And for me. For all of us.

20 comments:

Kazzy said...

I love you, C. I really do, in a real lasting way. Your whole brood is critically important to me and my family. We will for sure keep you and your #1 boy in our prayers. We are here if you need anything. Big hugs.

Kristina P. said...

Charette, I will be praying for you and your family, and that your little boy makes it home safe and sound always.

gideonburton said...

He may not see or feel either the dangers of the moment or the affection of the eternities pouring toward him. But you feel them both in a wave of loss and love. Don't forget how much loving concern is offered by a host of those both close and in the wider circle that surrounds both him and his striving, strong, and weakened parents. Some things take time; some take eternity; some, both. God bless.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

Charette, as a mother to a teen-age boy I feel like every emotion that you so articulately and honestly expressed are mine. Your family are in my prayers. Cyber hugs from me to you.

Melanie J said...

I will pray for you both with all my heart. Loving him with your whole heart is the best thing you can do. Take it from a lost child who eventually wandered back.

LisAway said...

I will for sure. I can only imagine how you feel as a mother. I think this is probably the hardest thing a parent can go through. I am thinking of you and praying for you both.

Allison said...

I love your son more than I can say, and I always make sure to pray for him every night. But don't worry, your family is in there, (by name) not long after that. There isn't a day that I don't think about you guys.

I love you guys a lot. I don't think I could tell you that enough.

Luann said...

Yes, I will. For all of you.

breckster said...

We bought the leash to combat the seductive pull of more interesting stores, fast moving cars, and people our three year old think are his friends. I'm sorry there isn't a proverbial leash on the market. We will pray.

Debbie said...

I will certainly pray for you and your family.

Heidi Ashworth said...

I went back and read the links and saw that a couple of them were the posts on Bloggers Annex that first led me to you. How glad I am of that! To me it sounds as if your son is brilliant and artistic in a world where it isn't too cool to be 16 and an artist. Or rather, he is having more fun playing with people than play-doh or paint or pleasing his parents. My brother was very much this way. It took a long time (and lots of heartache as he played with alchohol and drugs and everything else!)but he did clean up his act to go on mission when he was 20 and came home and married a wonderful girl who saw through all the play-acting to the gem beneath. They are sealed in the temple and have four beautiful children. I will pray that your guy gets wise a whole lot faster than my brother did! Love you!

Heather of the EO said...

Do you know what? I was such a huge mess in my late teens and early twenties. MESS. I'm sure my parents felt like this. I was a toddler in a grown-up body. But the things that were instilled in me were buried in the rubble. And with consistent unconditional love, there is no way I would have stayed so resistant forever.
You have a leash. It's YOU. Your such an amazing woman, and I'm sure your boy knows that. There's no way your love is lost on him.
I just feel sure of it.

Prayers.
Peace.
Love.

Heather

Heather of the EO said...

of course, I had to go and use the wrong YOUR. Ugh, hate that :)

Eowyn said...

Oh yes. Definitely. He's the only one I haven't met, but knowing you is enough. All the prayers I can muster for you and your beautiful clan.

Luisa Perkins said...

I don't know how I missed this post over the weekend. You and he are in my prayers.

It was bad enough BEING a teenager, but now I see that HAVING them (and I have two now) is worse. Far worse. Oy.

Jessica said...

I am so sorry Charette, this is so hard. I can't imagine what you must be going through. You are in my heart and prayers.

Kimberly said...

I think some kids need to wander off the path, if only for the learning and joy that come with following it back home. Hoping and praying along with you. I don't think anyone as loved as he could every be truly lost.

Mrs4444 said...

Prayers to you, my friend...

Brillig said...

I just want to wrap my arms around him. And you. Especially you. THis is so hard, J. I'm sorry. You're so good at expressing your pain. I wish I were there... I wish I could make it better. But prayers? yes. That much I CAN do.

Jeanne said...

My heart goes out to you, dear friend. You are in my thoughts so often, and will be in my prayers too. E. will be in on campus this summer. Let's get our two first-borns together again. We'll see you in June when we drop him off. Much love to you.