Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I REMEMBER...Kidnapped

...my mom [Grace Margaret Chiles Welton] telling me about the time I was kidnapped. For about two minutes. I was really young, maybe not even walking and was with my mom in a clothing store while she tried on coats. She had set me down on the floor and I was playing peek-a-boo in the coats on the circular clothing rack in front of her. 

Apparently, I had crawled out the other side of the rack and a strange woman picked me up and headed out of the store. My mom looked up in time to see me waving bye-bye at her over the woman's shoulder as she went through the front door.

My mom dropped everything and chased after her through the door and down the street screaming bloody murder for her to stop. About a block away the stranger set me down on the sidewalk and ran away.

There is nothing scarier than losing your child. She probably never tried on coats ever again without holding me with one hand.

I lost my oldest son [Ian Robert Welton] for about three minutes in a mall when he was about five. I had him and his younger brother [Nicholas Gerald Welton] with me and was trying to retrieve Nick as he walked away into a big crowd. I turned around and Ian was gone. I totally freaked out.

Normally, I disliked the fact that their mother dressed them in matching outfits [quote from Nick when they were all dressed in little sailor suits: "Why does Mom always dress us up like cops?"]. At that moment it came in handy, as I was yelling at everybody in the mall that I had lost a little boy that "looks just like this one - but taller, pointing to Nick."

At that moment I heard above me "Hi, Daddy" and looked up to the top of the escalator and coming down towards me was Ian. He had gotten onto the escalator going up and wasn't tall enough for his head to stick above the railings, so I couldn't see him from where I was standing.

A parent has two emotions in moments like this, one to whack them on the bottom for leaving your side and one to hug them for joy and never let go. So, you mash the two emotions together, sweep them up and hug them tightly, while telling them that "you scared me to death and don't ever do that again!"

Then you go out for ice cream, even though it is almost time for dinner.

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