Monday, January 30, 2012

Oysters, crowds, and other things I don't like about festivals

Alternate title: Sunday, crazy Sunday

This title sounds negative but that is because I really try to find the humor in those dark moments you know you will never forget and that generally aren't even a little funny when they are happening. It was a beautiful day. The 29th annual oyster festival was marked with sunny, blue skies and temperatures that were higher than predicted - one couldn't ask for prettier weather in January. We were in a gorgeous setting surrounded by history with Boone Hall Plantation house and the grand old oaks surrounding us. Most importantly, we were together as a family. Until we weren't. That dreaded moment when teems of people are everywhere and your son suddenly seems to be nowhere. Happy little Matt had gone to the cookie stand with his Daddy and was happily clutching his blue elephant cookie-pops, so enthralled with them that he lost sight of Dad and wondered in the total opposite direction to find him. We looked and looked and as Paul approached a policewoman, I began to feel that panicky feeling. As she asked me to describe what my son was wearing, a little piece of my mind was gripped in terror. I clutched Katharine's hand and we all did the best we could to remain calm and vigilant. And people were looking, our friends, the surrounding vendors, strangers, the police. The quote, "it takes a village" came to mind repeatedly. The police found him within minutes and I was so impressed with how they came together and used their network to their advantage.

I was terrified that Matt would be distraught, screaming his head off because he couldn't find us. But, as the police led us to where he was, safely in the arms of some man we had never met, he smiled at us and seemed calm as a cucumber. They told us he had told them his name and his mommy's name but claimed to not know his last name (although I'm sure he does). Matt said he was standing by a tree and a policeman came to talk to him. He told us, "no tears came out of my eyes but I was a little scared."

We pretty much called it a day after that and took our reunited little family to the safety and comfort of home!

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