Saxon has a big-kid bike (it looks like a motorcycle), and Bridger does really well on his balance bike. My mom gave me her old bike that has a baby seat on the back. I put helmets on everyone and then we all argued over shoes. I lost the battle and the boys got to wear rainboots without socks, instead of tennis shoes. Gross...that makes for very stinky feet! I was wearing yoga pants (no pockets) so I stuck my phone and debit card in the pocket of Saxon's cargo shorts. He felt very important for being assigned such a big responsibility :)
I lectured the boys before we left
"You have to stay next to me."
"If I say STOP, you have to STOP immediately!"
"If I say 'Go to the side!' you have to do it."
"Watch out for cars...listen too."
"Make sure I can always see you and you can see me."
"If we're not good listeners, we can't do this again."
"You can't quit half-way there and tell me that you're too tired."
A lot of instructions...I know...but we were riding out on the road and I wanted them to be safe. Sonic is about 3/4 of a mile away. We have to ride to the front of our community, cross a somewhat busy road, ride through another community, and find the short-cut into the grocery store parking lot. Then we ride around to the front of the grocery store and up to SONIC.
We got there without any incident and I bought the kids grilled cheese and slushies. We saw some of our neighbors and all of the kids played. It was really fun! On the way back, I repeated my instructions. Saxon has a tendency to want to ride far ahead because he is a lot faster on his real bike than Bridger is on the balance bike.
On the way home, we were in the community right behind the grocery store when Bridger stops. He's too tired. His legs are tired. His feet are tired. He wants to walk. While I was trying to convince Bridger to get back on the bike, Saxon rode ahead. I called out for him to stop, but he didn't. I finally got Bridger going again just as I saw Saxon turn the corner. We hurried up to him, and we turned the corner. I looked down the next street for him...but he wasn't there.
Is he far enough ahead to be on the next street? We hurried ahead. We got to the corner where we would usually cross the busy road to get back into our community. There were some little girls playing on the corner. I asked them if they had seen a little boy with flames on his helmet ride by here.
"Oh yeah...we saw him earlier by the basketball courts, but he didn't cross here..."
Ok...so where is he? Bridger and I circled back around.
I started to get that feeling...
That heart pounding, sick to my stomach, saying constant prayers in my head, feeling.
What if I can't find him? What if someone took him? How long should I look before I call the police. Except that I can't call the police because my phone is in Saxon's shorts!
We went back to where we last saw him because there was a family sitting outside and I wanted to ask them if they'd seen him. I started to describe him and the dad say "little boy on a motorcycle bike? Yeah, he went by right before you came by the first time. Is he lost?" I told them that I couldn't find him, but that he knew where lived, but I was sure he would not have crossed the busy road by himself.
The dad said, "Are you really sure?"
Well, no...I guess not. I just really hope that he wouldn't have crossed by himself. He would have known better...
The mom hopped in her car and said she would drive a circle through my community and look for him. The dad told his little boy to hop on his bike and help me look. Just as we got back to the corner of the busy road, I see one of my neighbors drive by. She stops when she sees us.
"Brenda!!! Have you seen Saxon?"
"Yes, I have him with me."
Oh...I can breathe again. Apparently he just went right on home (nevermind that he is 5 years old, was alone, and crossing a busy street by himself on his little motorcycle bike). Brenda saw him sitting on my driveway and asked him where his mom was.
"She's not here...she's at SONIC." (Yep...makes me look like parent-of-the-year, right?)
Brenda tried to call me but realized that Saxon had my phone when his pocket started ringing. She had him get in her car so she could drive him over to Sonic to find me.
I was so relieved...I had to then circle back around and tell that sweet family that we found him. Since Brenda was there, Bridger wanted a ride home too (since he was exhausted after all of our circling around.)
When we got home I asked Saxon what he was thinking!
He said, "I just wanted to beat you...and I already knew the way home."
Of course, we had a long talk about this, but at least I have him home safely.
Have you had any of those scary parenting moments lately?