first, the irony: yesterday we attended a local fair and the police were there offering fingerprinting and child information packets for kids and i had the silent prince fingerprinted.
now, the story:
sunday afternoons are family time for us. either my parents come the 25 minutes to our house or we travel the 25 minutes to theirs. since they happen to have central air and it has suddenly turned hot we made the decision to head to their house today.
the silent prince has a wonderful time at his grandparent's. he has the full run of the house and grandmom is constantly feeding him all sorts of goodies. we usually know exactly where he is just by listening for the sound of a bouncing ball on their hard wood floors (we still have hope for the nba someday because he dribbles like a pro).
we had a great dinner out on the back deck and the prince and princess kitty enjoyed ice cream treats (as did their mom). after we had filled up on grandmom's cooking grandmom took the kids in for a bath (i always pack the bedtime clothes for the ride home), hubby went to make his sunday call to his mom and grandpop and i enjoyed a few minutes sitting outside and talking before cleaning up the mess from dinner.
by the time the kids were out of the tub and dressed, hubby was off the phone, and the dishes were in the dishwasher it was time to hit the road. sunday is afterall a school night and it takes 25 minutes to drive home.
somewhere in the midst of collecting all our things the grownups all wound up in the back of the ranch-style house that my parents own and hubby asks: "where's the silent prince?"
we listen for the sound of a bouncing ball and hear none and begin to move through the house. my dad hits the kitchen first... the back door is unlocked... it is dark out... the silent prince is nowhere to be seen.
we all run out the door. hubby and the princess kitty make a dash into the neighbor's yard. the yards are all open and the silent prince likes to make life difficult by taking off towards the fish pond at the neighbor's house two doors down.
but we can't see, because it is dark. the prince doesn't talk and so he won't answer us if he hears us calling his name. he also thinks running from us when we chase after him is a really fun game.
i go around to the front of the house and scan the street. my father has gone back inside to look for the flashlight which is not where he usually keeps it. my mom pops her head out the front door and i tell her to check his favorite hiding places in the house once more. (one time he hid in the closet of the guest room for several minutes before we finally found him.)
hubby and the princess kitty emerge onto the street from a few houses down. he tells me to search the house once more and call 911.
back into the house i go, into the kitchen. my mother had looked down the basement steps, but the lights weren't on and we know how much he loves to be outside, but i am looking once more before calling the police and launching a full scale search.
i flip the light switch and take two steps down into the basement... and there he is, playing with a toy he has found in an old pile of stuff that must be going to a tag sale at church.
the princess kitty is behind me, i scream: "I HAVE HIM! I FOUND HIM! TELL YOUR DADDY I HAVE HIM!"
and i run down the steps and grab him, much to his dismay, and won't let him go. i hear hubby moments later tell grandpop, "no harm, no foul."
i can barely breathe and neither can the prince for how hard i am holding him. when i finally let him go it is to find myself in my mother's embrace. the only thing that keeps me from falling completely apart is that i don't want to upset the princess kitty any more than she is already upset.
and now both of them are fast asleep and safe in their beds and i thank God that i didn't need to use that set of fingerprints tonight.
God's peace y'all... and kiss your kids if you have them.