I wrote this back on the 17/10/10:
This Tuesday was one of the most frightening days I have ever experienced in my life. I lost my little boy. Even though he escaped from our house, it is still my fault. I was the responsible parent in charge so there is really only me to blame.
At 2.50pm I made the decision to go upstairs and wake my two youngest children from their nap as we needed to leave to collect my eldest boy from school at 3.15pm.
I woke my middle child first, he is the most difficult child to organise as he is totally unagreeable so I figured he would need the most time. I took him downstairs and got his coat and shoes on. I put him in our living room and closed the stairgate.
I went back upstairs to wake my daughter, who is perfect by comparison. I came back down whilst holding her and realised my front door was open.
It only took a second to realise that so was the stairgate to my living room as I placed my 1yr old daughter the other side of it and closed it firmly.
I ran out of the door only fleetingly acknowledging that my dog had also made a break for it.
I called my son, half expecting him to be messing around in the next door neighbours gardens but I heard nothing. Not a sound.
This is the time of day that my road is particularly busy as everyone rushes to the school at the end of my road.
There is no one there. No clue as to where my child has gone. My first thought is "what if someone has taken him?"
My heart is in my mouth. I realise that I am not breathing and gasp in frantic breath. The question of how long I may have been holidng my breath for doesn't even register.
I run to the end of my cul-de-sac and frantically look from left to right repeatedly looking for a sign, anything that might indicate where my child is. Out of the corner of my eye to my right I clock a small blue car that is stopped rather haphazardly in the middle of the road/turning. "Shit-he's been hit by a car" was my first thought. I run, instinctively in that direction, praying that it is the right one and realise that I am still in my socks. I see an older lady get out of the car and run in the opposite direction. My thoughts aren't on her though. I just want my child.
As I get closer I catch a glimpse of something I want to see but am not entirely sure that it is really there. My sons head bobbing above the line of the car as I am running downhill towards it. I can see the lady is chasing my child and as I reach her car she scoops him up in her arms.
As she starts walking toward me I realise that she is also being closely followed by our dog. He is jumping up at the strange lady and in truth I am not sure if he is guarding my most troublesome family member or trying to gowd her into play.
I remember shouting at her to stay where she is as she reaches the road to which I am standing the other side of and out of nowhere a 4x4 comes hurtling around the bend missing my, now giddy at the end of the chase excitement, 1 year old dog by a whisker.
The guy yells some obscenity at us all and speeds off in another direction. I don't hear it, I am purely focused on my child. I want him in my arms.
Aware of the dangers of roads etc. it is paramount I gain control of the dog too.
I crouch down until he comes to my side and grasp him collar. The strangers hands over my baby boy and my emotions catch up with me. Shakily I walk back up the road, completely unaware of the discombobulated mess we look.
I never found the womans name out, but I owe her explicitely for rescuing my child the way she did.
Anything could have happened. I will live with the "what if"'s for the rest of my life.
When I got back to the house I held him for as long as I could without being the crap mother who turns up late to collect her son from school would allow.
I cried. He looked bemused.
I feel immensely lucky.