What is your worst fear as a mother? Mine is losing one of my children — and that’s exactly what happened to me recently!

I lost Magdalene at the shops on Monday, and it scared me like nothing else.

One moment, she was standing with other children her age watching a playdough show. The next, she was nowhere to be seen, and I panicked. Where could she have gone? Did someone take her?

It’s not the first time I’ve had this experience at the same shopping centre.

My Previous Horror Story

When Esther was two, she ran away from an indoor playground when my attention was momentarily taken by another mother whose child was playing in the same area. There were several mums from my church who were watching their kids in the same playground.

When I couldn’t find Esther, all the mums who knew her scanned the area where she had been playing. I remember the fear that crept in my heart when we couldn’t locate her.

Then she emerged from a shop adjacent to the playground, arms laden with craft supplies, oblivious to the uproar of panic she had caused us. We all laughed. I old her off and took her back into the shop to put back all the products. I also vowed to never take my eyes off her again.

Finding Magdalene

When I realised that Magdalene was missing on Monday, I got Esther into action to help me find her sister. Phoebe was crying in the pram, which didn’t help with the fear in the pit of my stomach.

After about five minutes of asking other mums if they had seen my Magdalene walk off, I wheeled the pram around to search within the shopping centre. Coming towards the gathered mums and kids who were watching the show were two young women (who I assumed were mums) carrying my Magdalene.

Relief washed over me, and I nearly burst into tears, thanking both the women for bringing my daughter back. I explained that I took my eyes off her for a moment to give her sister her bottle, and when I looked up, she was gone.

Apparently, Magdalene had bolted from watching the show and headed towards the playground. The women recognised her freedom run as a ‘toddler on the loose’, and they knew they had to catch her and find her mummy.

Praise God for the community of mums!

An Opportunity to Reflect

Thankfully, they didn’t judge me when they saw I had my hands full. I was relieved they found my baby girl.

It made me think how aware I am when I’m out and about. I can often be focused on keeping my brood safe within arm’s reach and not be fully aware of children who may do a runner or find themselves in the most unsettling of circumstances being lost. I am sure I would notice a lost child if I saw one, but after Monday’s episode, I will be more aware of the children in my surroundings.

Have you ever lost your child at a shopping centre or a park?

Originally published at The Plumbette. Image by Edi Libedinsky at Unsplash.

About the Author: Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard is a plumber by day and stylist by night, but these days she changes more nappies than washers. She is a happily married mum to three young daughters whom she styles on a regular basis. Rebecca is not only an award-winning plumber, she also writes an award-winning blog called The Plumbette, where she shares her life experiences as a plumber and mother. Rebecca also blogs at Styled by Bec, believing a girl can be both practical and stylish.

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