Friday, February 6, 2009

Best Buddies, Big Trouble

A better title for this post might be, "The Great Escape." Anyways, I have to take the time to blog this incident while it's still fresh in my mind. Let me start out by giving a little background info. Jack's best buddy is his cousin Walker, who happens to live just a couple of doors down from us. They do just about everything together- play super heroes, drive their tractors, have sleep-overs, wrestle, walk around in their underwear and cowboy boots, make pee holes outside, the list goes on. People who see them together always wonder if they are twins, because both have mischievous grins, they are the same size, and they both have this crazy white-blond hair (though Jack's is usually out of control while Walker's is always neatly trimmed). While they can be pretty funny sometimes, more often than not they are finding ways to get into trouble, and the little stunt they pulled today was anything but funny.
It started out as a typical day- while I was getting Maycie bathed and dressed, Jack was supposed to be quietly building a fort in the TV room (out of every blanket and pillow we own). When I finished with Maycie, I didn't see Jack anywhere, so I figured he must have walked down the street to Walker's house, which isn't unusual. I was a little miffed, since I always tell him he has to ask me before he leaves, so I called Jami to tell her to send Jack home. About five minutes later, Jami called back to tell me that both Jack and Walker had disappeared. I re-checked my house, thinking maybe they snuck in and were hiding from me. Then I checked the yard, as well as the neighbors' yards. I walked down to Jami's, but the boys hadn't turned up their, either. So I threw Maycie in the car and took off to check around the neighborhood. At this time, I was mad and swearing under my breath that I was going to kill those little terrors when I found them. I drove circles around the neighborhood, while calling friends and neighbors to see if maybe they had turned up at any of their houses to play. I also drove down past the school to see if they had decided to head there. By this time I was really panicked, so I called Zane to come home and then I stopped at the river to check the paths below the bridge. I walked up and down the bridge and the paths, and checked the areas around the water that I could get to. My heart was in my throat the whole time, and I was sick to my stomach hoping I wouldn't find anything. When I got back to my car, a friend was passing by and offered to help look. By this time I had lost it and started to cry- I didn't know what else to do. I headed back towards the neighborhood, where other friends were helping look, too. I was trying to think of other places I could go look (like the ball park, maybe?) when one of my neighbors received a call telling us that the boys might have been spotted a couple of neighborhoods over, so I followed a friend and headed back that way. As I was nearing the school, a cop car was passing and flagged us over. They had Jack and Walker strapped in the back seat. A woman had spotted them walking out in the rain in the Fieldstone neighborhood and had asked them where they lived. Jack told her he didn't know, so she told them to stay with her while she called the police. Walker then hit her and told her she was a stranger (at least they remembered you shouldn't talk to strangers, while taking off and walking miles to their cousin's house without asking apparently didn't seem to bother them). Thankfully, she wouldn't let them go till the police officers showed up. When they arrived, the cops asked the boys where they were trying to go. Jack told them they were trying to go to their other cousin Mason's house to play, who happens to live in the Fieldstone neighborhood (which, for those of you who don't know, is huge- they probably wouldn't have found the right street any time soon). One of the officers, being a friend of Mason's father, recognized the name and realized he had a couple of Evans boys on his hands. He knew about where they lived and was heading that way when they spotted us. All I can say is the relief was overwhelming. I did my best not to fall apart and bawl too much in front of the officers, and they were very nice about the whole situation. After hearing the story from them and telling them thank you a dozen more times, I took the little escapees home, delivering Walker to his mother who was equally scared and mad. After getting all the crying out, the lecture started. Then Zane got home and had his turn at the lecturing. We talked to Jack about how scared Mommy was and what could have happened to him and Walker if we hadn't found them. What if someone bad had grabbed them? Did he know that Mommy's heart would be so sad forever without Jack to give her hugs and kisses and make her laugh everyday? Hopefully, those little trouble-makers have learned their lesson and won't pull anything like that again. Needless to say, I didn't have the heart to punish Jack too severely; I was just so glad we found him safe and sound after our hour-long search. I even had to take a couple of pictures of Jack and Walker with their cool sheriff sticker-badges on that the police officers had given them. Thanks again to our good friends and neighbors who helped us look, and to the wonderful officers who picked them up (Officer Justin Gordon and his partner- I didn't get his name).
I'm sure the adventures of Jack and Walker are far from over (though I do hope this will be their last ride in the back of a police car). Add their cousin Mason to the mix, and we've got the three musketeers on our hands. Marla, the mother of the three Evans' boys- Zane, Morgan, and Grant- probably gets a bit of a chuckle when she thinks of the grandsons that give her boys a taste of the grief that they gave her for so many years. But oh, the poor mothers of Jack, Walker, and Mason. Hopefully the laughs will outnumber the shenanigans that they will pull in the future.