* An oldy but a goody post written on Mother’s Day three years ago. *
It was a classic miscommunication of “he said” “she said.” Tanner, 2 1/2 at the time, had run out the door to join Bryan and my brother on a quick errand before Mother’s Day festivities commenced.
Ten minutes later Bryan walks in the door alone.
Where’s Tanner? he asks.
He’s with you, I say.
His eyes speak otherwise. I thought you had him!
The next 15 minutes are ones I hear about on the news, and see in movies. They are slow-motion and fast-forward all in the same sprint. Out of body.
Bolting out of the house and into the street.
Have you seen a little boy about this tall? Curly blond hair. He’s holding a sippy cup. Wearing a shark shirt. Have you seen him?
Neighbors come out of homes. People join the search. Someone yells about calling the police.
And all the while my mind is racing. He can say his full name. He knows his age. He can tell people who he is looking for. Running. Another block. No Tanner.
I know he won’t go on the main boulevard because he has to hold an adult’s hand. I know he won’t go by the water, because it’s too cold. Another block. No Tanner.
I know we will find him. I know he will be okay. But then the ugly voices come. What if someone grabs him? What if he is crying and we can’t hear him? Another block. No Tanner.
And then, Bryan runs by, THEY FOUND HIM! Four blocks down, the police had been called. A sweet lady and her college daughter had come across a little boy walking down the street; curly blond hair, sippy cup in hand, wearing a shark shirt, and looking for “Daddy and Uncle Doo.”
My heart! My boy is found. My Tanner! We embrace him. Gentle enough not to scare him, but strong enough to frame his little body with ours. He is home!
After thanking the women and hugging every neighbor that helped search, we walk back to the beach house, praising Jesus! Sweet Tanner had been found.
The rest of the night is a celebration. Yes, for my mom, grandma, and me. But mostly that Tanner is where he should be. With our family. Complete. I can’t stop staring at him and thinking about his funny quirks; his obsession with closing doors, that Guess How Much I Love You is our book. The fact that he loves dip-dip with everything, and coca-cola is a special treat with Papa. Or, how every night before he goes to sleep, I kiss him and whisper, You make my heart smile.
On the drive home, we affirm him for doing such a great job telling the ladies his name and who he was looking for. We coach him on coming back in the house, should that happen again, to tell us that daddy and Uncle Doo had already left, instead of going on a hunt by himself.
Once home, I lay in bed with Tanner for an hour. Playing with his hair. Praying for him. Crying silent tears over my first-born. Thanking and praising Jesus that he is safe. Mother’s Day suddenly holds a significant gratitude.
I am reminded of this truth: Tanner is not mine. He is God’s little boy. And I too, am God’s little girl. It’s not only a wake-up call as a parent, but as Christ’s daughter. When was the last time, I laid on the couch and poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father? Or cried to Him? Or read His book? Or sat in awe of His sunset?
I believe circumstances happen in life to either awaken us to God, or push us away from God. How I hope to run towards Him, yelling my name, recognizing Him from afar, and feeling at home in His embrace. Just as Tanner was to us the day we found him. On Balboa Blvd. Sippy cup in hand. Curly hair. Shark shirt. Ours.
A special Mother’s Day to you this year. Hold your kids extra close this week, recognizing what a gift they are. And for the love, learn from me, and please don’t lose them!