The morning routine for the school is to drop off the kids at the main playground, which has teachers/aids present. The Kindergarten classes all line up their back packs in their respective teachers lines, then when the bell rings their teacher meets them and walks them in lines to the classroom.
Most parents wait until the kids are out of sight and then leave, since the parents aren't supposed to walk them to their class. This has worked out fine until today.
I stood at the back of all the lines, and tried to keep my eye on both boys, in each of their lines (they are in separate classrooms). Once they started walking away from the playground, I put in my earbuds and started to find an exit (they lock all the chain link fences at different times so my exit is never same). I saw Carter's teacher and looked down the line and didn't see him.
I thought, "don't panic, I must have overlooked him." So, I continued to walk next to the line and also stopping to survey the line in search of him...but he wasn't there. I quickly walked to the front of the line and made eye contact with his teacher and said, "Carter isn't in line!" She said, "thanks for letting me know. The aid took some kids to the nurse's office, or he might just be in another classroom. I put out an all call." I tried to stay calm and walked to the nurse's office and found the aid and asked if Carter was with her. Her eyes got huge and she said no and immediately started making calls to try to find him.
It was the longest 30 seconds of my life. She came back and said they had found him and all was well.
I wanted to cry! There is so much chaos in the morning, and we all know how well 5 year olds follow directions.
I can't help but wonder how my parents were never worried. Is it that there is more danger now than almost 30 years ago, or are heinous acts more televised and accessible?
Needless to say, I did a very short run this morning because my nerves were shot.