The other day when a mom named Katy told us about losing her daughter at Newark Airport — and then finding her — we got a wonderful mix of advice from readers. They had tips on how to prevent this from happening again AND why it wasn’t the end of the world.
A little later we got this letter from a mom named Laura Demeuse. You will appreciate it. After urging Katy to help her child get used to interacting with strangers and realizing that most people are kind, Linda added:
How many times have YOU been abducted?
…Of course in any moment like that we can fear the worst, but afterwards, instead of dwelling we need to look at the realities… how many times in your life have you been abducted or even nearly abducted? Do you have friends whose kids were abducted? I have never even heard of a legitimate abduction since I have become a parent, but a lot of “mysterious man in car talks to kid” stories that get people all riled up.
Until I have some solid proof that this is something I actually need to guard against, I will always let my kids experience safety and freedom in their community and even to an extent, at the airport.
Our lost child at the airport story:
On that note, when my oldest was about 8 we got off an airplane coming back from Florida with my husband, parents, and my youngest, who was 2. I was absorbed with her loving everything about flying and making instant friends with another toddler getting off the plane.
Between 4 adults one would think we would have no problem keeping track of two kids. But alas, we got out to the main aisle by the bathrooms and realized my oldest was not there. (This airport was nowhere near as big as Newark, so we were not super concerned, as we didn’t have reason to be yet.)
A text told me everything.
I gave my toddler to my husband and he and my dad went to get luggage. Then I went back to look for the 8-year-old. I got almost all the way back to the skywalk when I get a text on my phone. It was a picture of my daughter sitting at the helm of the plane!! She was with the captain in the cockpit!
Within minutes, she comes out beaming ear to ear with the rest of the crew. “Did you get it?” she asked. “Did I give them the right number?” “Yes, sweetie, you sure did!”
There’s no way that would have happened if she would have stayed with us.