This was maybe one of the scariest moments I've ever had as a mother. It's up there.
Tonight we were watching a movie in the living room. Because it's been nice in the evenings, and because we are 'fresh air people' we've had the air conditioner off for a few days now. Meagan, however, was not entirely into the movie, and she was uncomfortably warm. I suggested to her that she go down in the basement and play, since it's much cooler, and there's lots down there to hold her attention better than the movie was. She took me up on the suggestion, and dissappeared into the basement for the duration of the movie.
Fast forward to 10:15. Movie's over. Time to heard everyone upstairs to get in bed. The boys headed up to get their showers and pj's and all that jazz, and Lucas called down to Meagan to come upstairs for bed. A few minutes later, still no Meagan. I called down to her. No response. I went upstairs, thinking maybe I had just missed her. Not there. In the meantime, Lucas had gone down into the basement to get her, but couldn't find her down there. Empty basement. She's not on the top floor. And she's not on the main floor. The realization hits quickly that we can't find our child. We did a double check - basement, bedrooms, living room. I went in the garage, out the front, out to the back deck. No Meagan. I ran next door to see if she had gone over there to play and we just didn't hear her leave somehow. No, not there (our poor neighbors are probably wondering if they live by crazy people). When I ran back home, Sebastian met me at the front door and said they found her.
All I can say is releif flooded my whole body. Where was she? She was in the basement just as we had originally thought. Even though Lucas had tripple-checked and not seen her. She had gotten tired, and crawled under the computer desk, pulled the chair back to its original pushed-in position, and proceded to curl up and fall asleep. Sound asleep. In a rather uncomfortable looking position. But safe. Thank God, safe!
In a matter of ten minutes, I may have experienced every possible human emotion. In short, that sucked. I don't ever want to know what that feels like on a dragged out basis, and I absolutely hate that reality is that many parents have known that feeling and have not had the happy ending that we had tonight.
That was scary. That was awful. And there are no words to describe how completey and utterly relieved and thankful I am that she was safe the entire time. She is now tucked safely in her own comfy bed, completely unaware that she caused any alarm at all. As a mommy, there is nothing better than knowing she is safe right now.