On Tuesday while Molly was napping, I decided to let Anthony play on our front porch. I put up the porch gates, got the screen door set up, and heading back in to the house to finish closing up the computer and gather drinks for him and I.
After what I swore was no more than a minute I noticed something....I didn't hear anything. No vroom vrooms of his play car, no tinkering with his toy tools, nothing. I called his name expecting to hear a "Yeah, Mama?" but got no response. I walked out to the front porch where I saw the one gate pulled open and no Anthony in sight for as far as I could see....which is straight across my 5 acres both directions. My heart fluttered and my throat got tight. I called his name again 2 times and listened. No response.
I ran back inside and checked his room and the bathroom just incase he had slipped back inside without me realizing it. No Anthony. I slipped on my flip flops and ran off the porch to the left of the house. I know sometimes he likes to wonder behind the house so that's where I ran to first. As I reached the back with no Anthony in site, I began to panic. My heart was racing. And I could feel tears starting to well up. I screamed his name 2 more times, though I know the 2nd time was little more than a quivering squeal because I couldn't get his name to come out of my mouth. No response.
I turned and doubled back to the front of the house and peered in both directions again, wondering if he had decided he was going to go off for a walk. The past couple of days we've been taking walks down the mile long dirt road after Papa gets home from work. Maybe he thought it would make for a grand time to take a walk? Oh Jees, it was all I could do to keep from throwing up. I decided before I went running down the road calling every neighbor I could think of with my cell, I needed to check the shop and car port area. He likes to play over there too even though I hate it. I reached the shop area and screamed his name. No response.
I remember saying out loud, "God, please just let me find him. I was only gone for a minute! Just a damn minute!" Just as I was about to turn heels and start running down the driveway to the road, I caught a glimps of movement inside one of our cars. It was Anthony. I ran to the car and threw open the door. There he sat on the front seat of his Papa's car playing with a wrench. I was so overcome with relief! I let out a big sigh and felt all my panic melt away. He looked startled to see me standing there peering down on him. I'm sure the look on my face was just priceless. He smiled at me and said, "Cool car, Mama! See?" "Yes, Anthony. I see you're in the cool car. What are you doing over here! You don't play in here! Didn't you hear me calling your name!? I couldn't find you, Anth!! Is that Papa's wrench? Come here, give me a hug."
It only takes a minute. Not even....it only takes one second. Just one.