On Tuesday, we decided to visit the zoo with my grandmother and uncle. My uncle hadn't been in a long time, and my grandma hadn't seen the new baby elephant, Zuri. Since our membership doesn't expire til the end of the month, we thought it would be a great time.
K had her 12 year old well visit and immunizations, so we decided we'd all meet at the zoo, and then my grandma and uncle would watch the younger three while K and I dashed off for the doctor.
Things went well at the doctor, though we now know officially that K is exactly the same height as me. The nurse measured her barefoot, and she was 62" tall. Just to double check, we had her measure me as well. Exact same height. I am sure that K will be taller than me by the time school starts.
When we got back, we found everyone at the bird show, waiting for it to start. I noticed that Z was extra loving, and very cuddly, and my grandmother seemed shaken.
Apparently, while they were looking at the elephants, Z managed to wander off and get lost. Considering how small and quick he is, I'm not at all surprised. Losing a child in a public place is every parent's worst nightmare, and the sad thing is, I'm sure it's happened to every parent. My grandmother looked frantically for him, and had M running all over trying to find him, with no luck. After a couple minutes, they alerted a zoo employee, who got on a radio to alert the other employees.
Thankfully, another employee had already spotted Z, and had put him on his golf cart and had been driving him back to the offices so they could stick him wherever they put lost children. When my grandma got to him, he was his usual, stoic self, not crying or anything. He reported that he got to go for a ride with Lee (apparently the employee had introduced himself).
I consider the fact that all ended well (except I suspect my grandmother is deeply traumatized by the whole thing) to be a minor miracle. I know that 99.9% of the time when a kid gets lost, it ends this same way, but that doesn't make it feel any less miraculous when it happens. Everyday miracle, perhaps?
I feel bad that my grandma had to go through all that. I know that horrible feeling when you do a head count and come up short. I suspect it's even worse when you've been entrusted to care for said missing child. I know that she is a great caregiver, and trust her implicitly with my kids. Kids are just slippery little suckers, and easily get away. I'm hoping that the whole thing spooked Z a bit, and he'll be more careful to stay with the group from here on out.