We were ready to have a blast at baby Isaac’s first birthday party.
We dropped from the taxi and walked to the function room. (We have been here a couple of times so we’re pretty familiar with the place.)
You, as usual, peered through the railing that separated the rooms from the swimming pool area, mesmerised by the water. Big sister was right beside you.
We walked on. I called for you guys to follow us into the function room. Vera came running, and I assumed you were close behind.
Soon I was busy waving and saying hellos. Daddy was distracted by the food, so was Vera. I was distracted by the camera waving in front of Vera’s face. For a moment, all seemed fine and dandy. And then your godpa asked me, where’s JJ?
I looked, blinked, scanned the room for your little head, usually bobbing up and down. You usually follow daddy like a tail, but when I saw daddy, there was no JJ in tow.
I gestured to your godpa with a dangerously blur look on my face that said “I don’t know”.
Godpa: you’re joking right?
I think he asked me that twice. I stared hard and tried to think. A look of panic must have crossed my face because I felt it in my heart.
I walked out of the room in a calm but dazed state. Godpa overtook me to the end of the verandah, near where you had been peering through the railing. He disappeared at the left turn, and I knew he had found you because I could hear your cries.
I’ve never felt so relieved to hear you crying.
You were near the lobby, where we had first alighted. Instead of following us, you probably felt scared when you turned and saw no one, and instinctively retraced your steps back to the lobby.
Thankfully, the guard was around to prevent you from running out onto the driveway. It’s all by God’s grace that you are safe.
I don’t think I’ve never felt as lost as that moment I thought we had lost you.
Getting so distracted by the party that we forgot about you, our youngest and so precious child – that could have been the gravest mistake of our lives. Needless to say, for the rest of the day, I felt like a terrible mum.
That night, daddy and I had a meeting to discuss the safety measures we need to take from now on. We even contemplated if we needed to buy a backpack with reins, but eventually decided that we would work on a buddy system from now on. Daddy will be your buddy, while I am Vera’s. (It’s obvious why daddy has this humongous responsibility, because he’s a lot more mobile now, and you also prefer to stick around him most of the time.)
This is probably the biggest and most sobering lesson for us in a long long time. And I promise never to be complacent again…
Thank God for alert godparents.
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