*I am a freelance writer and often publish pieces in magazines, newspapers, and other publications. This post is excerpted from an article I wrote for Crixeo Magazine.
Almost exactly four years ago, on a sunny June day in a beautiful Atlantic beach town, I thought my life was ending. My son, Raymond, who was just a few weeks from his third birthday, disappeared on a crowded boardwalk. We’d just gotten off the Jolly Trolley at the boardwalk — Raymond, his two older sisters, my husband and I.
For less than a minute, my husband and I took our eyes off the kids while we discussed where we wanted to eat dinner. Less than a minute. How many times have you taken your eyes off your child in a public place for a few seconds? You dig through your purse at the grocery store. You text your spouse. You crane your neck, searching for the other mom you were supposed to meet for lunch.
In those few seconds, I lost my son.
Now, I want to tell you at this point that this story has a happy ending. After the five longest minutes of my life, I found him.