Monday, October 1, 2012

A Parent's Worst Nightmare

  • Earlier in the day, Dad gave Tony 3 rmb and told him to buy a bottle of ice tea at the local small shop.  It was with great pride that Dad saw Tony go to the shelves, find a bottle of ice tea, and then go to the cashier to make his payment.
  • Tony and Dad then went on an outing around the area where They looked at diggers, front-end loaders, boats and high-speed trains.
  • When They arrived home, Tony darted up the stairs and laughed at his Dad who was not able to keep up.  Dad reflected how at five years old, his son could already outrun him.
  • In the evening, Mom instructed Dad to take Tony to the bathroom at the local KFC.  Dad had to make sure Tony washed his hands.  Tony raced to the bathroom and by the time his father arrived, he had washed his hands.  Dad washed his and felt the urge to urinate.  Tony rushed out and Dad assumed that he was heading back to his mother.  When Dad finished his business, he walked out and didn't see Tony with his Mom, and he then saw that Tony wasn't at the playground.  He kept looking and couldn't see Tony anywhere.  With the area around the KFC crowded because it was the National Day Holiday, Tony wasn't going to be easy to find.  Tony's parents began to panic.  Tony's Mother went to the find went to the customer service area to have the P.A. make an announcement.  Dad ran around the shopping area, screaming Tony!  Tony!  Tony!  He  and Mom worried that Tony had been kidnapped.  Dad's life was flashing before his eyes.   Dad was quite a sight:  a foreigner screaming at the top of his lungs, but this was a good thing because the locals did try to help him.  Eventually, someone lead Dad to Tony.  Tony had dashed to this outdoor playground like his mother had first assumed, but he had gone to an area of playground that was in a corner and hidden from his parents who in their panic overlooked it.  Reunited with Tony, Dad was relieved but tears came to his eyes.  Mom came about a minute later, and was crying and angry at Tony because he had ran off without telling anyone.  
  • The episode of missing Tony lasted about ten minutes but its effects on his father would be everlasting.  There are worst things for a parent than earning the approbation of strangers over one's parenting or one's child's behavior:  the possibility of never seeing one's child again is a horrifying prospect indeed.  I now can take anything but that.

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