Feb 23, 2014
Finding Safety at the Safety Fair
I think I've told you before that Princess and Prima Donna are part of the Youth City Council so they get many opportunities to do service in our city and surrounding areas. Yesterday was one of those days. They had a huge safety fair at the Expo Center and the girls were invited to help with the police department's booth. Their assignment began just before noon, so we arrived a few minutes early to give them time to get where they needed to be.
Bossy's family joined us as did my Little Sis and her family. It was a huge room full of people and booths, kind of like a county fair. There were tons of games and activities and freebies for the kids. Just my sort of thing!
After we gave the girls a little time to get situated, we headed for their booth. It was about gun safety and it had one of the longest lines. It seems that every kid wanted the opportunity to shoot a gun. They did a great job teaching and instructing! Their commitment was 2 hours, so once we finished with their booth, we moved on to another area.
The booths were all set up in rows, with a huge stage and shows going on in the middle. We got free yogurt, Chick-fil-A coupons, candy... One booth was even giving out tiaras! After wandering for an hour or so, we got to the Sam's Club booth. That was the first time it dawned on me that I had left my purse in the van, but when they offered to give me a $20 gift card for renewing my membership, I decided it was worth it to send the Dog Walker out to the van to grab it.
We had been gathering things for a long time and since Baby Doll thinks she is too big for a stroller, we were just carrying everything with us. As I handed the Dog Walker my bags to take to the van, I also decided to shed my jacket since it was pretty warm in there with all those people. I let go of Baby Doll's hand for a second to pull it off and loaded with stuff, the Dog Walker headed out the doors.
It took me about 30 seconds to realize that Baby Doll was no longer with me. She had been a bit independent all day (now that she is a big girl) and I immediately began searching for her. With all the adults and children we were spread out along that row of booths and I was sure this was no big deal. Princess and Prima Donna had just gotten off duty and joined us and they were backtracking twenty feet to the tiara booth.
After about 5 minutes I had found every group of my children, and Baby Doll was not with any of them. My heart was beating 90 miles an hour as I pulled out my phone. My last hope was that the Dog Walker had taken her with him to the parking lot. He finally answered, but no, he was alone.
I quickly assigned the kids to groups and we spread out and widened our circle. Still no success. Ten minutes had passed by then. I started looking for the first police officer I could find which was pretty easy at a safety fair. His concern mirrored my own and we speed-walked back to the stage area and the BACA group. This gruff looking bunch in leather and Harley shirts immediately started looking for her. The leader of the group took me to the announcer and just as he took the last of the info to share with the entire building, Bossy signaled that Baby Doll had been found.
I've rarely been through that range of emotions in such a short period. Baby Doll clung to my leg and I pulled her up in a big hug. Only then did her little body begin to shake with sobs and I must confess to tears streaming down my cheeks too. We thanked everyone for their help and then Bossy spilled what part of the story she knew.
She didn't actually find Baby Doll. My 3-year-old somehow separated herself from the group, I'm guessing by following the Dog Walker toward the exit doors, but her tiny legs could never keep up with his longs ones and before they even got out of the room, she was hopelessly lost. When she couldn't see us, she remembered the city booth where Princess and Prima Donna were working. She didn't know they were no longer on-duty, but she headed there anyway.
One of our city police officers remembered her and gathered her up and started looking for Bossy, just assuming that she was the mother. Within minutes we were reunited.
I pray for safety every day of my life. My most amazing treasures are my sweet children and I could not bear the thought of one of them truly being lost. Thank you for finding her. Thank you for doing your job and always being there for our city, our community, our family.
You, as police officers, make our lives safer every day. I was reminded of that at the safety fair.