Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Stroll Down the Road

It was Joey's turn for a break, a quick stay at Grandma's. Joey did great. Grandma's house is nice and quiet, and Grandma is particularly good at letting Joey take life at his own pace. He played in Grandma's truck and with her new cat, take a nice bath, and had a generally good time. I arrived nice and early to take him home after his breakfast, as he prefers. We were worried he might get anxious, but everything seemed great. Grandma put Wubbzy on the TV via Netflix/Roku so we could review the visit and talk about the upcoming school meeting.

Unfortunately, the connection out there s a little slow right now for reasons unknown. Every few minutes, the movie was interrupted to "load." The third time, he ran for the door (leaving it open enough for the new cat to sneak in).

I was prepared. When Joey runs at Grandma's, he runs for the car; so I left the doors unlocked and a toy for him to calm down. I cut off the conversation, packed up Joey's bag, helped mom put the cat out, said goodbye, and headed for the car. I put the bag in, looked in the back seat with a friendly greeting, and...

No Joey.

He wasn't in the back of Grandma's truck. He wasn't in the garage. He wasn't answering to my calls. I ran back to the house, shouted into the door that Joey was gone, and ran down the driveway. Whenever I could get him to take a walk at Grandma's, he always preferred to stay on the driveway- a nice, clear line and path to follow. I made it to the circle, and down the road a little way, with no sign of him. I turned and ran back to Mom's. Maybe she had found him, he was just hiding in the back bedroom, or behind the house.

"You you have him?" she called as I appeared. No, I don't. I don't have him. He's gone.

Those are not words you want echoing through your head.

I hopped into the car. "Keep calling," I said, I suppose to my mom, "I'm going to see if he followed the road." I started down the road, watching the woods to either side, for any sign of him, praying he had gone this way, and not into the woods to the river. Please be on the road. Please be on the road. Please be on the road.

He had gotten about 3/4 of a mile down the road. I turned the corner and saw him, and he looked glad to see the car. He was hot, tired, and scared. He had probably met a number of dogs along the way, which would have sent him into more panic, and sped him along the road. If I had tried to continue to look for him on foot, he would have gotten out to the main road, and we would have been in more serious trouble. All the way back to Grandma's, he told me how he had gotten off the road whenever a car had come.

We got a lot of hugs when we got back to Grandma's. And a drink. And more hugs. And now I have him home, with our double-key locks, set up with his computer and his brother. And I'm looking up GPS.


little.birdy said...

I haven't commented in a while, but I still love hearing about you and your family, and I still credit Joey with helping me find speech pathology. :) That being said, this tendency to bolt is terrifying. I'm so glad that he made it back safe.

Niksmom said...

Oh, I'm sooo glad Joey's safe and I know he's home with you now. Every parent's worst fear for their child to wander/run. Sending love and zen thoughts to you and your family right now. xo

Anonymous said...

Oh how terrifying! I'd like to know what you find as far as GPS's. My G has a fight or flight reaction to stress and we actually encourage his running out of the classroom instead of going at his teacher. So far has stayed in his school building. I guess you just never know when that will change.

farmwifetwo said...

Ours has vanished on the farm 3 times - problem is, he knows his way around it and isn't lost. The school after SK finally put up a fence on the primary side for him and spent the next year fixing all the escape routes in it... Now if they'd had proper supervision for him... I digress...

A week ago I listed him with the OPP, new school, new county... it's Prov wide and needs to be redone annually. Yesterday, his music teacher - that is also going to his new school - told me they are finishing the fence around it... Taking his arrival seriously I see although he is to have support and when I was there, there was much more support in the yard than our school.

Yesterday I also introduced him to a Police officer at our village parade.. with the hopes that should he ever run, he will have some realization that they are "ok" to be with.

Best we can do... 8.5yrs old and I could finally stand across the laneway from him on the swings and pull weeds in my garden this year. First year we can walk around a corner of the farm - on the road - without holding hands - still have to in busy places.

When they go... they go... and luckily I am finding more and more, that flight/fight response is taken more and more seriously by "professionals" (police, school's etc) but there's still a long ways to go.

Glad he was found safe. If I was nearby I'd simply pass over your fav adult beverage and find you a quiet spot on my porch...

Stimey said...

Oh no. I know just how terrifying this is. I am so glad you found him so quickly. Big hugs to you.