We were at the school fair, and I was working on a stall. The family came to visit me, then wandered off – Pearl to explore with her friends, The Dad and the little ones in another direction.
About quarter of an hour later, Fainjin appeared in front of me. I was tucked around a corner, and it was crowded. I assumed the others were right behind him.
“Hello there!” I said brightly, and was dismayed when his face crumpled.
“I’ve lost Daddy and Babess!” he wailed. I pulled him around to my side of the sales table and gave him a big hug. Thank goodness for cellphones, I was able to let The Dad know immediately where he was.
They had been looking at something outside when it started to rain. Fainjin was facing away from The Dad when he said, “Come on kids, let’s move over here to stay dry.” The Dad saw exactly what happened – he and Babess moved (not realising Fainjin hadn’t heard him), then Fainjin turned around and couldn’t locate them in the crowd. The Dad called out and waved, and wasn’t far away at all, but Fainjin moved in a different direction through the crowd. The Dad could see the moment when Fainjin made the decision that he couldn’t see Dad or Babess and needed to do something. He cut through a classroom, and it was at this point that The Dad lost sight of him.
Sensible boy, he knew exactly where I was and that I wouldn’t have moved, so he came straight to me. He knows the school well by now, but it was very crowded and full of unfamiliar obstacles in the form of fair stalls.
Lots of relief all round. I gave Fainjin lots of cuddles and told him how proud I was that he thought so clearly and didn’t panic, but did the sensible thing and came to tell me the others were lost (I noted to myself with considerable amusement that he wasn’t lost, The Dad and Babess were – but that makes sense, as Fainjin goes to that school and they don’t!).
It was a safe environment and no-one was actually lost for more than a minute or two, but it was a sharp reminder of how quickly we can inadvertently lose contact in a crowd and the perils that await.
© UpsideBackwards 2012.