~ Special to The Chronicles ~Hi. I’m Bess, and I have a problem for which there are no support groups. Not that I’ve found, anyway.
I tend to collect children. It’s really not a choice. It just seems to happen to me. I have four biological sons, two step children, six grandchildren, and so many kids that call me “Mom,” “Mama,” or “Nana” that I’ve lost count.
Speaking of losing, I lost my youngest child once. He’s 22 now, with a wife and child of his own (my youngest grandchild), but I lost him when he was about 18 months old. We lived on a 50 acre “family compound.” I worked full time as an office manager for a ranch and water well company, the kids were always with me, but I was lucky enough to be able to work half the day from home. At 11:30 we’d come home, I’d fix the boys’ lunch then put them down for their naps.
Nap time was usually an hour to an hour and a half. That equated to an hour of peace and quiet for me.
My youngest didn’t wake up and yell for Mama. That was protocol, because they expected a snack when they woke up. After about two hours I snuck into his room to check on him. No child in the bed. I looked under the bed, in his closet.. baby gone. Not upstairs. Not in the basement. He just vanished.
Ran down to the creek, no child. Ran to his grandparents next door, no child. Not only was I in complete panic mode, but I’d screamed his name until I lost my voice.
I finally sat down on his bed, crying, with the phone in my hand to call 911 – and saw something move in his toy box. Just a little, mind you. Then a little bit more. Then a little head popped out.
It was one of those moments where you want to hug ‘em and beat their ass at the same time. Most parents understand this.
He’d buried himself under the toys and stuffed animals in his toy box. I don’t know why to this day, but he’d had a good nap and was ready for his snack. And I didn’t have a heart attack.
Next excerpt will be about hanging brothers from a tree. Ya’ll ain’t gonna believe this shit, but I promise it’s true!
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