It’s 4.45 pm and I just lost Reilly.
He’s back now eating chicken nuggets watching Bing but I’m still shaking. I was going to wait until tomorrow to write a blog post but thought I should write while the adrenaline is still coursing.
We popped round to our friends Clare & Dave’s earlier. Next estate down from us Reilly loves to go and see his little pal and make a huge mess with some different toys. As regular as clockwork he tips a huge box of toys on the floor, makes himself a nutella sandwich and then goes to play in the garden. Happy days. The back gate was locked and padlocked. Only it wasn’t.
When Dave came in and said well where is he? I have never seen 3 adults move so fast. We set off in different directions shouting for Reilly. The feeling I had in my stomach can only come close to one that I have only felt three times before. Once waiting for Things 1’s blood results in a hospital abroad when they thought he had leukemia, second time waiting for Ellis to cry after I had given birth – way too long and third time waiting for Ellis to come out of surgery at 8 weeks old. Vile end of the world kind of stuff.
I couldn’t see him anywhere. I cut through a friends house to the line on the other side of the houses where we walk to go for the bus. Couldn’t see him. I always wondered how your legs can still function during a panic attack. I can absolutely confirm that they do in fact and can actually work better because I ran like hell.
The fact that this whole process lasted around 5 minutes means nothing. While running all I could think was cars, paedo’s, water, cars paedo’s, water – autistic kids will be drawn to water in most circumstances. Not once did I imagine that a nice family out for a walk might have stopped him, only the worst.
When I rounded the corner out of the estate and saw Clare with him in her arms I couldn’t move. Put my head in my hands and cried.
Was Reilly bothered? Not a bit. He was making his way to visit the swans on the grass at the bottom of the street. I think he must have remembered the Lost Boy Rulez on his spontaneous adventure – the best set of rules to follow for a happy life! He seemed oblivious to any stress that the 3 adults huddled around him were now experiencing. The relief indescribable.
I swear I can sweep a room for danger before you’ve taken a seat. I have eyes in the back of my head. I sleep with one eye open. I should have double checked the gate myself. I am now sat questioning myself, I shouldn’t have been sat on the floor picking up toys I should have been in the garden, watching. Imagining every vile scenario under the sun instead of counting my blessing that he is absolutely fine. I took my eye off the ultimate prize and it could have been so so much worse. I hope to god it never happens again.
And breathe xx