This story happened a short while ago. I wasn’t sure I was going to publish it. But I now feel if it can reach even one family struggling to maintain status quo on the home front, I’ll have done my job here. And it just seemed like the right time of year to post it. Here we go…
Today started like any other normal day. I head out for work driving through the pretty countryside.
As I drove on, something pulled my eye towards a ditch. I slowed down when I noticed a little black head and ears popping up beyond the top of the grass. I glanced at the time full knowing this wasn’t going to work well in my schedule but pulled over anyway. If that was a stray cat needing a home, I take full responsibility to stop and see if it will ultimately belong to me.
No go. The cat knew exactly where home was. Awesome! Onto work I go and chalk it up to save the world another day.
But that wasn’t to be.
As I drove on, I noted someone walking in between the highway and a side road. I mentally took note at how odd it was to purposely walk through VERY long grass rather than flat gravel. That image stayed with me for a moment as I drove on, puzzled.
Thank goodness for overgrown grass. Due to over thinking it, I realized what I just saw. That was a child in the middle of nowhere. And kids that age wouldn’t generally have a cel phone to call if they missed the bus or what have you. That child must be stranded…
I grimaced as I looked at the time once more, made the U turn and head back.
I pulled over to the side of the road, and started talking. After a little chit chat, I soon found out this girl was the same age as my son (12) and this was about much more than missing the bus. This girl left home on her own accord with full backpack, on route to another parent’s location in a town a VERY long ways away.
After lots of inquiring on what was what, I kindly told her what I needed to do. She didn’t know either of her parent’s phone numbers so a call to the police was in order.
So we sat on the grass together, called 911 and proceeded to wait. I wrapped a blanket she had brought along, tightly around her shivering shoulders while we talked a bit more about her situation.
Once the authorities arrived, they were very relieved. It appears many were looking for her. I’m just very glad it was someone safe that found her…
I also was pretty stern about them drilling for more info before leaving her where she ran from. I can only hope for the best and requested an update. (I’ve heard nothing.)
It was only when I started driving again that the full impact of what transpired hit me full force. Grateful tears immediately sprung to my eyes.
You often hear those ‘cute’ stories of kids wanting to run away from home. My son ‘ran away from home’ a few years ago and got as far as the front porch, blankets all around him eating snacks out of his luggage. He even thought to bring his library books along for the ride.
But today was seriously real. Did she want to or need to run away? I don’t know.
All I do know is, my new little friend taught me to listen to my own son with a much more understanding heart. To never overlook what’s going on in the minds of our kids. Why are they hurting? How do we play a part in that? And what can we do about it? Are we really listening or too busy talking?
Thank-you friend. May you be safe, warm, well loved and above all, become happier. You will be in my prayers.
Would you keep her in yours tonight too?