Names are omitted for internet safety ;)
Yesterday morning we had 3 things on the agenda
1. central library (downtown)
2. marquette speech
3. betty brinn - meeting a friend there.
As I was getting off freeway for library, I realized I didn't have my phone. I paused, thought and said "people survived for many years without phones, we'll be fine". Had fun at library, went to speech, came out of speech and van wouldn't start.
I head back into speech thinking "hmm. . . I have no phone and don't know Brother in Law's cell number who works at marquette and I don't know who will recognize the speech clinic number and actually answer their phone". I bump into Skater Surivor Boy's speech pathologist who finds out that Marquette Public Safety will jump us. Receptionist calls public safety and they rescue us - also inform us that we can pick up blue phone in any emergency and yes, this is an appropriate emergency.
SO we drive slowly to betty brinn. Me, assuming that 15 minutes will recharge the battery. Get there, get out of car, turn around and realize that window is down on car. Turn key to put up electric window, car won't start. Thankfully, my friend was RIGHT by us in the parking lot and came over to jump me. No dice. Won't jump. After about 15 minutes of unsuccessfully trying to get van to start, we head upstairs to eat. My kids are starved (1:15 by now) and we are at the museum so we can figure it out.
Have to eat outside because food area JAM PACKED with about 100 kids on a field trip. While we are outside, my friend's son get away from us. One second he was there, the next second GONE! It was TERRIFYING. Betty Brinn is RIGHT downtown Milwaukee by the art museum and Light the Night takes place. I had all the kids (the other 5) with me as we looked. The kids were starting to get stressed and scared cuz it was starting to feel that we. I kept telling them to pray and Jesus was with Friend's Son. I think it took us 45 minutes to find him. 30 minutes in we had people EVERYWHERE looking for him -- park employees, people eating lunch on the terrace, the betty Brinn employees. My friend's husband was on the way up and she had just called 911 when we found him. Friend had gone into the museum to look but didn't find him. The museum employees found him somewhere. Next, friend calls her hubbie and couldn't get in touch with him-- he was already on the way and his phone was off. He was RUNNING full speed towards us when he saw Friend's Son in my arms and the look on his face ran my heart cold - the terror . Friend and I had already cried when we found him and seeing how friend's hubbie was feeling made me realize that friend and I were only holding it together because we had 5 children that we needed to keep calm. I honestly am not sure that I have experienced that type of terror ever and it wasn't my child, although it is a child I love. But still, no one loves a child the way his parents do. I seriously don't know how my friend and hubbie held it together.
Well, we pack up and go in the museum so that we can feel "safe". I tell the kids the normal directive. "you must tell me before you move on to another exhibit" Even more important today because it is JAM PACKED. I look down at my purse to put my parking ticket in my purse and look up Little Bit is gone. OBVIOUSLY, she didn't understand the lecture about telling people where they went and how dangerous it was that Friend's Son left us. So SkaterSurvivor Boy and Rainbow Girl and I begin to run around looking. In 5 minutes she was right back where we started *sigh* I wasn't very nervous because we were IN THE museum but so close to the terror of losing friend's son, my heart was pounding. I did realize that a three year old just can't comprehend the consequences of running away from mom.
About a half hour later when people are leaving the museum and it wasn't so crazy, I remember I have a dead van in the parking structure. By now, it is 3pm. I had talked to Hubbie about 5 minutes before we lost Friend's Son and he told me we had free road side service through our car insurance.
The crazy story ends in roadside jumping me -- had to use friends phone to arrange roadside service and then wait. As we meet roadside service, LittleBit starts crying that she left her favorite shoes (her red cowboy boots) in the museum so I give them the keys and go to retrieve the boots. At this point, my foot is hurting and I am EXHAUSTED. But up we go. We get to the museum to learn Friend had picked up boots and had them. Say goodbye again and back to the parkind structure.
Roadside service got us jumped and we headed home. BUT the crazy part. AS we pulled into the garage, the van died. Right there in the alley. All I could say was "thank you Jesus for getting us home" and call hubbie. Turns out the connections on the battery were loosening up and I think God carried us home. We aren't sure how the jump even took when the guy came from the rescue service. Normal life began again. We ate, went to swim, and came home. All was well and back to normal after a long crazy day.
So many things today to reflect on. . one is my bartering with God. Our kids were worried about something being stolen from the car when we couldn't get the window up because I had said "I just want to make sure there is nothing super valuable in the car". THe car was A MESS and had TONS of library books, toys, etc. As we ran around looking for Friend's Son I started to beg God - "please let someone strip our car, just give him back. please God" I know that it's impossible to barter with God but in our human state, it is just something that happens.
God was so merciful to us today. Sweet Friend's Son is totally safe AND HOME! Our family didn't have to take the bus. We wouldn't have fit in Friend's car so if Hubbie had to work too late and we had to get towed, we would have taken the bus :) No biggie as I had cash on me. If I hadn't had cash, there are ATM's everywhere - we WERE downtown ;) Van was dead in a children's museum and not a dreary place. We made it home and Hubbie fixed the car in less than 10 minutes without ever leaving the house :)
It just goes to show that in the big (losing a 3 year old in downtown Milwaukee) and the small (a car problem), God is there and getting us through it. We had an amazing outcome today but when trouble comes your way, trust Jesus. He will get you to the other side. I love the song "sometimes he calms the storm" Don't forget -- "Sometimes he calms the storms and other times he calms his child"