It Happens

Some kids are simply born adventurous.  I remember once when my family stopped to check out a small county fair.  My older son was climbing around in a structure and wanted us to keep watching him.  He was always connected to us – well most of the time.  The younger boy was quite independent and adventurous.  This particular time, I took my eyes off the older boy and looked for the younger one, only to see him wandering off totally unconcerned.  Thankfully I could retrieve him.

Once in a large structure with lots of climbing around opportunities (City Museum in St Louis if you’ve ever been there, you will understand).  My husband was following our older son around and the boy got into a space too small for my husband to follow.  He then frantically started heading up to the next level.  The boy had been smart enough to go to a staff member and my husband caught up with him quickly.

There was a time when a young boy wandered off from the family home that was isolated in the wilderness that we have ample quantities of here in my county.  He was missing for 3 days, setting off a massive search that finally succeeded in locating him.  While his mom had been on the telephone inside, he had decided he wanted to go and visit his grandmother but  she lived at quite a distance away.  He had been headed in the right direction at least.

Just because an adventurous young child takes it upon themselves to wander away at an opportune moment does not mean the parent is irresponsible and that they should lose their parental rights and the child taken for adoption or foster care.  Negligence is much more than the rare occurrence of a child’s inventiveness.

Case in point –

A woman was driving along on a busy road outside a mobile home subdivision. She found a small child wearing only a diaper walking near road. Fearing for his safety, she stopped and picked him up, putting him in her car and took him home.

Common sense then caused her to worry that she would be accused of kidnapping him. Wisely, she called police. They began searching for his mom. It turns out she had been napping with the child, who then got up and was able to get out of the house.

Of course, the mother was frantically looking for him. She wasn’t a mom who deserved to lose her child. He had never gotten out of the house before.  That day he had just figured out how.  Had wandered off, while his mom slept. Moms get tired. Kids are smart.

Fact is, almost every parent has a story about one of their kids who figured out how to open doors and go off on their own at some very young age.  A very young child often does not know their parents names or phone number.  Of course, as parents we need to keep our children safe.  However, no parent should be judged harshly because their child is an escape artist.  No parent should lose custody over such an occurrence and always all of us should be happy when a wandering child is returned home safely.  True, it is a dangerous world out there but sometimes, even with attentive and loving parents, it happens.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.