We decided to run a few errands and then go to Target where my son would spend his Kindergarten graduation money on toys. It was a deal and we shook on it. He’d uncomplainingly come with me and then, we’d run over to the toy section at Target.
We went to Kohl’s first. It just happens to be conveniently located in the same strip mall. Generally, I hate Kohl’s for clothes for me. But, since the *whispers* weight gain, I won’t spend a lot of money on clothing for myself.
I dragged my little feller to the WOMAN section. I was checking out the clothes, assuming my son was standing close to me. I didn’t pay attention for one minute. In ONE MINUTE, I looked over some humungous purple shirt and lost my child. That was all it took.
He was gone.
I went to the toy section, assuming that he had found his way over there.
I went to where the toy section would be at the Kohl’s by our house, the one I would usually go to.
I started running up and down the aisles, screaming his name like a lunatic.
I started to shake. I’m shaking now as I think about this. I was THAT scared.
I couldn’t find my son. Tears started streaming down my face as the worse care scenario started flashing through my mind.
I started running up and down the aisles again, revisiting toy section again. By now, I was screaming his name. Shrilly. And almost hysterically crying.
Not one person looked up from their shopping.
Not one person asked if they could help me.
Not one person did anything.
And there were a LOT of people in this store.
Finally, I decided to head up front, just in case someone was going to kidnap him. That way, I could tackle the fucker. Also, I was going to go seek help from the cashier because there was no one in the back where customer service is.
As I’m walking, shaking and sobbing my way to the front of the store, a woman FINALLY stops me and asks me if I needed help. I told her what happened and she walked with me to the front of the store where I got some in-store assistance.
That’s the code for a missing child in the store.
Cashiers, stock people, and managers came running up to the front.
We found him. Quickly.
He was standing by the luggage. Hysterically crying and shaking.
He was shaken and stirred but he was safe. He thought he knew where the toys were and that I would come and get him. But he didn’t and before he knew it, he was lost.
He now knows NEVER to leave my side again. Even though I had assumed he knew that to begin with.
The most unreal thing, in my opinion, was not one person looked up to help a hysterical woman who was running around crying and looking for her child.
Not one person asked a little boy who was wandering around crying and parent-less if they could help him.
Not one person stopped what they were doing when a Code Yellow and attention all Kohl’s team members was announced over the speakers.
So do me a favor. If you ever hear Code Yellow in a store. And you know it’s because a child is missing…
Be the one person that helps.
I know that I would.
Yes, I still took him to Target. And yes, I let him buy a toy. I even paid for part of it.
Because I was so relieved Code Yellow didn’t turn into an Amber Alert.