Because I have been asked, more than once, if I did in fact leave Ben and make it across town without him, I decided to finally tell the story. It’s a hard one for me to tell. I get that knot in my stomach, and I start to tear up, just thinking about it. I can assure you that I look in the eyes of each of my kiddos every time I load them in the car now, just to make sure we don’t leave one behind.
So, here it is. The story of when I left Ben at Target…
Back in October I was hurrying through a bunch of errands, with all six kiddos in tow. Not entirely abnormal. But, this particular day had been abnormally stressful. We had been to the post office and the bank, but stopped off at Target just before heading to the grocery store across town. My older kids messed around the entire time we ran up and down the aisles, while Josh and Ben continuously pushed and shoved each other in the over-sized cart. I don’t even want to talk about Noah’s impatient clamors.
Somehow I managed to pay for everything, while keeping my cool, but as we exited the store I began reprimanding my kiddos for their horrible behavior, and off we went. I was still pretty angry when we pulled into the grocery store parking lot not more than 3 minutes away, and I was probably even still yelling at everyone, threatening them to behave while I gathered a few groceries. As each of my little people filed out of the car, I noticed that Ben was missing.
I checked the car for my slowpoke. He had to be hiding from me. But, when I didn’t see him at first glance, I began yelling his name. I soon remembered that it was Ethan’s job to buckle and unbuckle Ben’s seatbelt. Had he done that? Nope. He didn’t remember Ben being in the car at all.
This was when the panic set in as I realized that in my haste and frustration I left Ben at Target!
Everyone literally jumped in the car, I made sure my kiddos were buckled, and raced out of the parking lot, as I cried to the Lord to keep my baby safe. Traffic began to slow along the highway and I saw an accident up ahead, so I called Target to see if they had found my Ben. They put me on hold as I screamed, “he’s only 2!”
The thoughts that go through your head, when you can’t find your child, are not pleasant, let me tell you. I tried to push each one aside, as I prayed that God would hold my baby until I could find him.
As I finally ran through the doors of Target, there was a cluster of employees right in the very spot we had checked out, not more than 10 minutes earlier. And, there on the floor sat my baby, with a pinwheel in his hand.