John was horsing around in the bathroom.
I was ready to leave, done with shopping.
So, I asked an employee walking by if he would please tell John to come out.
He went into the Gents and said instead, “John, your mom has left the store and is driving away”.
I was standing right there, and didn’t correct his bad joke.
I truly thought nothing of it.
I waited for a while, paid the cashier, and waited some more.
Eventually, another employee of the store asked if he could help me.
I said I was still waiting on my young son, blue shirt, in the bathroom.
“But I saw him run out of the store” came out of his mouth.
Guess you know what I did next, right?
I found John safely by our car, far out in the parking lot.
We have since talked many times about how I would never leave him in a store.
About being “lost”, and where he should wait for me.
He knows how proud I am of him deciding what to do.
How scared I was.
How happy I was he was safe.
So many lessons to learn, and to share with you to discuss with your kids.
So you can practice, and be prepared for something similar.
And so to extend the teachable moment, the next time in the grocery store, we played a new game.
The “OK, go to the bathroom, and then find Mom wherever she is in the store” game.
And it worked great.
So, from fear to a ever-longer tether, right?
Maybe trying this, in tiny steps forward, might work with your family?
We play this game every time we are in a store.
Peace be with us,
(Clip art courtesy of PowerPoint Clip Art Library)