I tend to stress a lot when I go anywhere alone with the boys. Chandler was naturally a wanderer when he was younger and although he's gotten much better, I still worry about him. Rowan is twice as bad when it comes to wandering and due to our communication barrier he's given me quite a few scares over the last few weeks.
A couple of weeks ago, I headed out for a Saturday run. The plan was to do 4 miles which takes me under 40 minutes. When I got home, I noticed that the car was gone. I figured that Marshall had taken the boys to run an errand and didn't think much more of it. About 5 minutes later, Marsh pulled up and said he couldn't find the boys. I looked at him a little confused, and he said they'd been gone about 15 minutes. That's very unlike Chandler as he knows he isn't supposed to just leave. Chandler's coat and shoes were gone, but Rowan's were still sitting by the door and his coat was in the closet. I started looking everywhere, texted friends, started knocking on doors. Marshall hopped back in the car to continue looking for them. Another 10 minutes passed and I became pretty hysterical. I called 911 and they started asking a ton of questions. They asked about everything from suspicious activity to what they were wearing, hair color etc. She also told me to have pictures and social security cards ready for the officer that was coming out to our house. I felt my whole world flash in front of me. These two little boys are our whole world, our family. I couldn't stop sobbing and everytime I would call Marshall, I could tell he was crying and really shaken up as well. Another 20 minutes passed and an officer showed up at our house. He said that someone had called in and found 2 kids 3/4 of a mile from where we live. I almost immediately knew it was them, but wanted confirmation. Marshall came home with them about 5 minutes later. Rowan was wearing Chan's boots and no coat. I'm thankful for that woman who saw something out of the ordinary, kept them, and called the police. I asked Chandler why he left. He told me dad wouldn't let him play the ipad so he was coming to ask me. I made it very clear that he is to never leave without us knowing and to never come look for me on a run. Then I cried some more and held them tight.
This last week, I went to pick Rowan's up from the sitter's house. I unlocked the door to our home, and he ran away. I come around the corner and he's seriously gone. I told Chandler to start looking for him and I did as well. About 5 minutes later, we found him on another block. He saw me, laughed and run away. I keep explaining to Rowan why he can't just run away, and I just don't think he understands.
Last night, I took the boys swimming and then to McDonald's. Marshall had to stay home to get some work done, so I was alone. I was stressed watching them at the pool as there were a lot of people there and they were playing in two separate areas. After being there for 2 hours, we headed to McDonald's for dinner. The only table available in the play area was back in the corner where I couldn't see them very well. Another table cleared out closer to the play area, so I moved our tray over there. I looked up to see both boys playing and then situated our food on the table. When I looked up maybe 30 seconds later, I didn't see Rowan. I thought he might be in the slide or around the back part so I asked Chandler to help me start looking for him. After a few minutes, I realized he wasn't there. I started asking all of the workers and was on the verge of tears. A few minutes later, I saw two men walking towards the door with Rowan. I ran out to meet them. One of the men said that Rowan was running out into the road on a busy intersection. He then looked at me and almost scornfully told me to be careful. I lost it and started crying. I packed the boys up and we headed home.
What a challenge this has been. I pray that communication will start to come for Rowan and that he will understand why he can't just leave. He is making progress and was answering some simple questions for me this week which is fantastic, but I just wish he understood. Through all of this, I can't help but see some very tender mercies. Marsh and I were talking and I realized that the Lord has definitely played his part in showing me tender mercies lately. Instead of feeling like I'm unfortunate, I can't help but feel how blessed I've been to have him safe each of these times he's been lost. I also find it a very tender mercy that I went back to school and we've waited to have another child. When I was contemplating going back to school, we realized not only how crazy it would be, but the fact that we would have a large gap before having another baby. If I hadn't gone back to school, Rowan wouldn't be in his two awesome preschools, getting the help he needs, and we probably would have another child right now. I'm sure I probably would be on the point of a nervous breakdown and I know the Lord is mindful of that. What I've realized more than anything is that He knows each and every unique situation. He puts things into our lives to help us grow and stretch, but also gives us challenges. He is there. He knows me and my needs and for that I am thankful.