Every morning Lael walks to the bus stop with the neighborhood kids that go to her school. 1 set of 2nd grade twins and their older brother who goes to high school. I’m friends with their mother and the oldest looks out for the younger ones.
Lael gets dressed and I open the blinds to wait for the kids to come around the corner and then I send her out and watch them walk down the street.
This has been working perfectly for the past few weeks. But last week something terrible happened.
Lael was dragging a bit and I rushed her around like I’m sure many of you have done before. I looked out the window and did not see the kids and it was getting late.
I told Lael to go ahead maybe they had already walked by. I kissed her and off she went. Shortly after I walked to work. Hubby and the baby were home but he was headed out to his moms right after me.
I get to work and an hour later hubby calls me. Apparently he didn’t leave the house because the baby had spit up and he had to change him. Good thing that happened because guess who walked back in the house.
An hour after she had left.
Apparently she missed the bus and had stood at the bus stop for an hour.
Well, not totally alone. Other parents and kids were out there for other buses but still. Alone.
I was mortified.
How could I have let this happen? What if my husband had left earlier? What would Lael have done? What was I thinking?
She was hysterical. Crying that she was scared. Cold. And hungry.
I immediately left work and went home to comfort her.
But the guilt. Oh, the guilt.
I’m thankful that we live on base so it’s safer than a lot of other places. But I am also thankful that my child was smart enough to go back home. But I am ashamed that I didn’t have an emergency plan in place for her.
What would she have done if the door was locked and we weren’t home? We have now established an emergency plan.
We hope to never have her use it because we have adjusted our schedules to make sure she gets to that bus.
Friday she didn’t have school but this morning she did. I watched the kids come around the corner and watched her walk down the street with them but this time I waited to see her get on the bus.
I’m sure it won’t happen again but I can’t seem to get rid of the guilt.
Do you all have emergency plans in place for these type of situations?
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