I had plans to write all of these posts in the order they happened. But the others are going to have to wait.
We had a wonderful 9+ inches of snow this last week and Jon and the kids were home. We had tons of fun sledding, building snowmen, and having snow ball fights. The kids would come in to warm up and change out of wet clothes. I had to bribe them one day to come in and eat.
Church was cancelled due to the road conditions. So Saturday morning we all headed out to find the best sledding hill. About halfway through Caitlin fell and got her gloves and arms wet and packed with snow. She claimed to be tired and so we headed back to the house for a hot shower and some rest.
After the shower she begged to go back to find the others. She claimed to have heard them just down the road from our house - the hill we started on. I let her go into the front yard to look and see if she could see the sledders. She wasn't to leave the yard unless she could see them from the driveway. She turned and saw me watching from the window and then headed down the street. She raised her arm as if waving so I assumed she'd found them. I couldn't quite see the hill from the window, but it's almost in front of my in-laws house. So I knew she'd be fine.
About 10-12 minutes later, Jon and Dominic came in. I asked them where Caitlin was and it dawned on us after a quick discussion that she hadn't ever found them. We all threw our clothes back on and headed outside to look for her. Several of the neighbors joined the search. After searching the entire neighborhood and tracking her as far as the next main road we begin to panic. I called 911 and Jon headed to the garage to get the truck so he could look further. Just as I began to explain to the operator what my problem was, I saw the sheriff's suv coming towards me. I flagged him down and was shocked and relieved to see my daughter sitting in the seat beside him.
She had decided to go find her Daddy and headed the long way around to the other subdivision. Someone saw her walking and called the police. By the time he reached her, she'd walked a mile from home on a curvy, icy, road that had traffic and no shoulders. A young teenage boy had been worried about her and was driving slowly behind her while he called it in.
I've never been that scared in my life. I now have a tiny inkling of what a parent must feel when their child is abducted. Because for a moment I thought I'd lost my daughter. Those were the longest moments of my life.
So I've hugged both of my kids more than normal and savored their smiles and giggles.
If you see me sporting a head full of grey hair you can blame it on my danger girl.