We all went to the grocery store yesterday. Something we rarely do together. We were at the checkout. I was unloading the grocery cart and was waiting to pay and Joe was loading the packed groceries back into the cart. Luke wandered over to the stuffed-animal-claw-grabbing game. It was not even 10 feet from us.
I looked up and saw him standing there. I looked again and he was gone.
"Where's Luke?" I say to Joe. "He's over there" he answered as he turned and realized he wasn't there. I went running out to where the pop machines and carts are. No Luke. I ran out into the parking lot, screaming. "Luke! Luke!" No Luke.
I ran back into the store. "Is he in here?" I screamed. Joe said, "No!" I ran back out to the parking lot. No cars pulling out of the lot. No sight of Luke. I scream for him some more. Nothing.
I'm sure it was only a few seconds but it seemed like decades.
"MOMMY!" I finally hear. "LUKE!" He came running towards me, in hysterics. Jumps into my arms. "Luke, where were you?" "Mommy, I thought that guy was daddy and I followed him out. I didn't know it wasn't daddy. When I saw it wasn't daddy, I ran but I couldn't find you."
The guy behind him was some guy that goes to our church and has kids in Luke's school. We had run into him in the cereal aisle. Don't know each others' names but we recognized each other enough to carry on a one minute conversation while buying cereal.
The guy said, "I knew he was yours and I saw him running through the parking lot in traffic and I didn't want him to get hurt. I was yelling for him to stop but he wouldn't stop."
Luke could barely breathe. Me either. I thank the guy and carry Luke into the store. The cashier is standing there waiting for me to pay - and everyone was staring at me like I was a nutjob. I'm sure Joe was right behind me - but I can't remember. Isn't that strange?? I can remember the look on the cashier's face but I can't remember where my husband or daughter were while I was screaming for Luke.
Still in my arms as I was swiping my credit card, Luke said, "I think that guy was trying to take me. He kept yelling stop but I wouldn't stop, mommy, I wouldn't stop. I just wanted to find you but I couldn't. So I ran."
I said, "I think that guy was a helper and not a taker." Luke wasn't so sure. I can't be 100% sure either I guess. You just never know.
Thank God he was okay. THANK GOD!!!!!
I can't believe how fast it all happened. We had our backs turned for a second - and he was 10 feet away from us. For people who want to take kids, they would probably only need a second.