Lost Children

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If you’re married with children, fear not. You don’t have to be perfect. The secret to great parenting is to do your best and pray a lot. If you have been following this blog you know that we have three healthy adult daughters. Somehow, they and Crystal and I have all survived. Don’t tell the girls, but we weren’t always perfect parents. In fact, we actually lost a kid three times. Our oldest, Elizabeth, was always too dramatic to be misplaced. However, when Elizabeth was about six and Michelle about four, we were at a large art fair in Madison, Indiana. Our friend, Dominic, was visiting with us. Crystal was lagging behind with Michelle and Elizabeth. Dominic and I were further ahead. When Elizabeth and Michelle left her to join us Michelle separated and took off on her own.  When Crystal finally caught up with us and didn’t see Michelle, she was just short of hysterical. After I calmed her I started speed walking. I went up one aisle and down the next, darting back and forth to miss hitting all of the relatively slow moving art fans. We were just about ready to contact the police when I had an idea. Michelle was very impressed with all of the carnival food trucks when we passed them. Sure enough, when we got to the food truck area there she was with a Good Samaritan woman who assured us that Michelle was only one of many lost kids at that fair every year.

A few years later Michelle, Lisa and I had just come home from shopping. Michelle and I were having one of our very important discussions (we had a lot of those). We got out of the car and continued our discussion into the house. Once inside I started dinner and she turned on the TV. A few minutes later Crystal came in with our crying baby Lisa, who we had left sleeping in her car seat. It wasn’t my fault. Michelle distracted m

Finally when Lisa was five, Crystal and I decided to stop and talk to a lady from our church. I parked in back of the lady’s house. Again, Lisa was asleep in the back seat. Somehow I stupidly convinced Crystal that Lisa wouldn’t wake up during our short visit. Needless to say when we got back to the car it was empty. We found her about two blocks away and on her way home. It was a small town and she knew the way.

I share these stories as encouragement. Parenting is tough and can put a strain on your marriage. You may never lose a child, but you won’t be perfect. Today these stories have been relegated to humorous anecdotes. When you are going through them, they are tests of how well you work together under stress.


Crystal’s corner

Our three girls are very unique individuals.  What that means as a parent is that what works for one child will not work for the others.  Michelle has always been very outgoing and people oriented.  She always talked to people and asked a lot of questions. When she turned four years old she started to be a wonderer and would take off away from us.  I trained Elizabeth to stay with her and tell me if she was straying.  I always warned Ron when he was taking her somewhere.  Fathers are different than mothers.  When we lost Michelle at this huge art fair on the Ohio River I panicked at first and then prayed.  Immediately I knew that Michelle was all right and that she was with someone who would bring her to us.  The woman who she talked to at the food stand actually went to our church.  We were new in the neighborhood and at the church, but this woman recognized Michelle and kept her until we found her.  It was pretty scary and we ran into other people with lost four year olds.  Parents need the community to take care of their children.  We have lived in different communities in different states and people have helped us with our children in all of them.  We are grateful to God for this.  He is always watching us and our children.

Category: Make Marriage Last

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