I recently shuttled my darling girls to school, arriving with time to spare before the bell.
I am in the habit of stopping the car right in front of the kindergarten gate- so I can watch middle daughter enter her classroom.
This particular day, there was no spot for me by the kinder gate, so I pulled up to the curb- several car lengths back.
Middle daughter jumped out of the car after so graciously bestowing her sloppy kisses on my cheek. And her little kindergarten self was away so fast that I barely had time to blink. My instinct was to call her back so that oldest daughter could walk her up to her classroom, but there was no time- she was off.
So I watched her little princess backpacked back as she skipped merrily away. And then I was granted more wet kisses from a little 2nd grade cutie as she jumped out of the car and met a couple of her little girlfriends with hugs and off they skipped to the playground.
When my attention finally turned back to the little kinder girl, she was nowhere in sight. Immediately I started wondering if she had in fact made it to her classroom. And then I started taking mental note of every car in front of me. Believing that it was totally conceivable that anyone of them could have snatched her up and taken her while I was busy bidding adieu to my 2nd grader.
I noted the truck, with the annoying high-heeled devil/angel silhouette vinyl stickers on the rear window. Am I the only one who doesn't like those? I have to believe there are others out there who don't particularly fancy them. And do they have a name?
And I checked where the teachers on duty were standing. My rational side kept assuring me that for sure she had made it into her class. Don't worry.
So I drove home and tried to put it out of my mind- my rational self trying to convince the paranoid self to just let it go. But I couldn't. I kept running the scenarios in my mind.
All I could think of were the stories about people in terrible situations and in retrospect, proclaiming that they should have listened to their gut.
And so I surrendered. And I called the little kindergarten classroom. And asked the teacher if my little girl had indeed made it into class.
And she was there. In her desk. Safe.
And I was relieved. Paranoid, but relieved.
***my sincerest apologies to the husband who never knew that our middle daughter was presumably kidnapped until now. because i could not bear the embarrassment of telling him about my paranoia. also, i didn't want to reconfirm to him that i can be a little silly sometimes. really, i can- hard to believe, i know. and i guess i was a little paranoid that he might be a tad bit upset if i lost our daughter. i would have told him. eventually.