Sunday, May 26, 2019

Scary Event

This event was by far the strangest one yet. I know you find that hard to believe if you read my blog much ….

I was gifted two nice benches after a wedding ceremony that took place here last year. I decided they needed some froggie décor, so I painted some frogs on them. Whimsical little creatures, but no teeth like my other frog that greets campers as they come in. I decided I should letter the one bench with our campground name. I sat on a stool with my back towards the road and took advantage of a pleasant day and happily painted while listening to a novel on my phone. I heard a vehicle come into the parking lot. It was a small SUV towing a small camper. A woman was driving and needed propane. None of my propane fillers were available, so I asked which direction she was headed and advised her where to go to get what she needed. I had noticed a boy get out of the vehicle when she did. Not unusual, I was focused on her and didn't really pay attention to him. 

She thanked me for my help and got into her vehicle and I turned back to my paint brush and settled back in to paint. I did hear a child's voice and what sounded like a car door slamming. I didn't look around, figured the boy was getting back in the car. He didn't sound distressed.

She drove out and quiet fell over the park and I was in my happy place painting and enjoying the nice day. Then I heard feet pounding towards me. It was the boy running! When he got close enough for me to hear him he was shouting that he needed a phone. 

"My mom drove off without me! I need to call her!!" I had my phone in my hand and asked for the number and as I punched it in, I learned the rest of the story.

Like me you are, no doubt wondering why a mother would drive off and leave her child at a campground. I confess that I did put one of my own out on a corner and drive around the block before letting him back in the car. They were all fighting and screaming and I said the next one to make a sound would be evicted from my vehicle. You have to keep your word, you know. Empty threats do not work. It was the 80's, a more trusting decade than the one we live in now and I was watching him in the mirror. It worked, too. Not a peep did I hear for the remainder of the trip.

But, this was different. They were traveling, on vacation, I assume. Why would she want to double back? Was she leaving him here like a stray dog? What would I do with the child? So many scenarios are running through my mind as I put this number in my phone.

"I went into the camper to get something while my mom was talking to you." he said. "She must not have known I was in there because it started moving and I knew it was dangerous, so I JUMPED OUT OF THE CAMPER AND ROLLED INTO THE DITCH so I wouldn't get hurt."!!! "Please tell my mom to stop immediately, I left the camper door open."

She never answered the phone. We looked up and she was pulling in the drive. The boy ran to her and told her what happened. They both got in the car and drove away. I suppose she was so scared, then so relieved that she couldn't talk. Me? I was so relieved that she realized he wasn't in the car and came back!


Val said...

Oh my gosh! I am in a panic, just thinking about what might have happened. And that's not even including a scenario where you raise this abandoned boy until he's 18!

dkzody said...

You hear of distracted parents who LEAVE their child in the car by mistake, and I guess there are those who just LEAVE without their child, but I've never understood how this happens. When you get IN the car, don't you check to make sure everyone is in their seat, with their seatbelt on, before pulling away? When you get OUT of the car, don't you look inside to see if you have everything you need? Are parents really that distracted now more than we were (are)? I travel with my grandkids and I always make these checkpoints.

Joanne Noragon said...

We did this, once, in the eighties. We were on vacation, Mom, my brother and me and seven kids. We always counted kids when we made a stop. And one day we didn't, and left Johnny. In less than a mile we knew it, and doubled back. He was wailing and heaving from breathlessness at the parking lot entrance and the highway. It was awful. We talked about what to do if it happens to you (go back into the store and ask a cashier to call the police). This was way before cell phones! And Johnny eventually made a good story of the time he blew out his sneaker trying to catch up.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I don't get how you can leave without your child but it happens, jumping out of the van sounds more dangerous then staying in the van laying on the bed

River said...

I'm so relieved that she came back and all is well. I remember a family with a caravan who came to our town every summer for several years when I was little, we got to be friendly with all the kids and every time they were going anywhere the father would count heads before getting in the car himself.