Friday, April 14, 2023

L is for Lost


#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter L

I lost my son at a theme park when he was not quite three years old. He and I were at Silver Dollar City, an 1880s theme park near Branson, MO. It was just the two of us, and we had wandered down to a children's area called Tom Sawyer's Landing. I let him go in an area to explore, watching him from just outside, then I gazed away FOR ONLY A MILLISECOND and he was gone. 

I went inside the structure. Not Kyle. I ran from one part to another, my panic increasing exponentially, and still no sign of him. I found an employee and told him my son was lost, and he said something helpful like, Oh, you'll find him. I was convinced someone had kidnapped my baby, and I headed back to the walkway outside where he disappeared, my heart pounding in my chest, my inner voice trying to figure out how I was going to tell my husband, when Kyle walked out of the attraction ON THE COMPLETE OTHER SIDE OF WHERE HE WENT IN. It was at that moment that I discovered that the two sides of the play area were connected by bridges, and he had climbed up one side, went across the bridge, and down the other in the blink of an eye. My heart still pounding, I gathered him up and got out of there. To this day, I never told him OR my husband that I lost him, because (a) I found him (or he found me), (b) Kyle never knew he was lost, so why tell him and scare him, and (c) I'm not positive what the statute of limitations is for losing your kid (who is now 27), but I'm fairly confident it has not yet run.

I will go on record stating this was NOTHING compared to what Mary and Joseph did to Jesus. They left him in Jerusalem at the age of 12. Left. Him. Traveled for AN ENTIRE DAY without seeing him, assuming he was with other members of their family or with friends. Who has ever traveled with a 12 year old boy that didn't constantly bug you for food or a drink or tp say they were borrrrrred and how much longerrrrrrrr? And entire day to miss him? REALLY miss him? And after finally coming to the conclusion that Jesus wasn't with their entourage, they spent another whole day traveling BACK to Jerusalem, and then THREE MORE DAYS searching for him before finding him in the temple among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 

I'm willing to bet that, in spite of all the religious teachers being so impressed with all the intelligence and understanding that Jesus had, and after they got over being worried and afraid, Joseph and Mary wanted to yank a knot in their son's tail when they finally found him. Boys - the same for the past 2000+ years!


  1. But your son wasn't lost. You gave him permission to go down there alone. You just didn't realize about the bridge! Glad he came back over before you went to the lost and found area!

    1. I sure didn't expect him to disappear! So yes, HE wasn't lost but I lost HIM :)

  2. First, you're an amateur. Our kids would wander off on purpose and we've lost children at Albertsons, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Penney's, Dillards, two separate malls, the zoo, the local university, and all four Kingdoms of Walt Disney World.

    Second, please remember how people traveled in Jesus' day. The women and children would leave, with a few men along on "guard duty," and the bulk of the men, meaning any male over 13, would follow along about an hour later with the majority of the gear. With the men's faster pace, they'd catch up to the first group by day's end and make camp.

    Jesus was just at the age where he could choose to still walk with mama in the early group, or dad in the later group. Since he'd never gone with Joseph before in the later group, he thought nothing of not seeing the boy, assuming he was with mama. She probably looked around, then realized wistfully he was growing bigger and wanted to be with the men, and didn't pursue it further.

    And yes, i'm sure they did want to yank a knot in him, but only refrained because he was always so well behaved and this was so unlike him. Plus the shock of seeing what his future would be like, Joseph could teach him carpentry all he wanted, the man was destined to be much more.

    1. I feel much better knowing your track record for losing kids! The school lost my daughter when she was in kindergarten. They didn't see her on the school bus when it left the gifted center to return to her home school, and after the bus left, they called me and said she wasn't on it and they didn't know where she was. I'm surprised my heart didn't blow right out of chest, it was pounding so hard, and she WAS on the bus, just too short to see the top of her little blond head through the window.

      Interesting information on how they traveled back in Jesus' day! I see where they might have misplaced him that way!

  3. You are definitely not the only parent to have momentarily lost a child! I lost my youngest son at the zoo once when he was about 3. He was an extremely small child then, so he looked even younger. We retraced our steps as soon as we realized he wasn't with us, and we found him standing near a wall, with his hand over a handprint of a monkey. It was such a pathetic sight, but I was so glad he thought to just stay still and wait for us to find him!