The end of the school year was last week and the unthinkable happened…the school misplaced my daughter. Errrr, how do you misplace an entire child? She’s not pocket sized. She’s an actual human being. She talks and breathes and walks and matters in the world. Uhm, she is my everything!
Has the school ever lost your child? I mean full on called your house to ask where your child was, after you knew you dropped them off? If it’s never happened to you, count yourself lucky. If it has, I am so sorry. I have never been so terrified as when the school called last week, looking for my 6–year-old. LOOKING.FOR.MY.6-YEAR-OLD!!!!!!
I always cringe when the school calls my house anyways because I am sure someone is sick or I’ve signed up for something and forgotten all about it. Gabs has been having some allergy issues lately and been a little anxious so I figured somebody needed a hug and reassurance from her mommy. I figured, the no sleep and sneezing and drainage had finally caught up with her but no, it wasn’t that at all.
“Hi, Mrs. Gabi’s Mom we noticed that Gabi isn’t at school this morning. Why is that?”
Me: “Huh? What? Yes, she is at school. I dropped her off at the office and watched her walk in through all 3 sets of doors! What the hell do you mean she isn’t there????”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I must have missed her. Maybe they accidentally marked her absent. I’ll call down. Do you want to hold?”
“Uh, yeah! I’m not hanging up until you have eyes on my daughter!”
“I’m sorry, Looks like the kids are still at mass. I will check on this when they get back. Do you want me to call you back?”
“No, you need to find my daughter NOW! I will hold or I can come up there!”
“Oh, looks like they are headed back right now. Hold, please.”
Exasperation, tension, sickness, must not vomit, seeing red, must not kill anyone, Fear, please don’t pass out. Cold sweats. Deep breaths! Hold your shit together, Debi. Gah, I can’t breathe.
“Mrs. Gabi’s Mom, she’s here and she’s fine. The teacher said it was an oversight, a long story and she wouldn’t tell me. She is here, safe and sound. Sorry for worrying you. I am so sorry for scaring you.”
Choking back tears and literally trembling, “Thank you for calling and thank you for finding her. Please don’t lose my girls again.”
I accepted her apology because she was sincerely sorry, I could hear it in her voice. The same way I am sure that she could hear my sheer panic, fright and then anger. What I did not accept is a teacher who didn’t have time to explain the “long story” so I emailed her and this is what I received in reply.
Me: Just wanted to see what happened this morning. I received a call that Gabi wasn’t at school. There were a couple minutes there where I was really freaking out. You can imagine. The secretary said that you said that the misunderstanding was a long story. I need you to explain to me what happened and why the office thought she was absent, long story and all.
Teacher who lost my kid: Yes. She was tardy this morning. I had already marked her absent. I asked her if she had gotten a yellow slip. She told me that she had been to the office and they told her not to get a yellow slip. I assumed that they office would remember this and figure it out – but I guess in the busy-ness of the morning they did not. Or else Gabi misunderstood. Anyway, that’s what happened. All is well here!
Maybe I was just too upset but I took her reply to be very flippant. I don’t think you have the right to be flip with a parent when you “misplace” their child. For all I knew, she could have been kidnapped, hurt or dead. She may just be another student to them but to me, her mother, she is everything.