There are some days I look at my life and wonder what in the hell is going on! This morning is a case-in-point. I went to bed late last night because I was working on school work and I drank some caffeine late so I just was not tired. It is not uncommon for me to have an insomniac moment. In any case I went to bed late.
The door on the children's room has a lock. John puts the children to bed at night. He changes their diapers and brushes their teeth. Then he puts them in bed, sings twinkle, twinkle little star to them twice and closes the door AND THEN LOCKS IT (just a vertically hung chain lock). For some reason last night the door was not locked. So this morning I was sleeping. Normally if I sleep late the children will wake up and play in their room for a bit. While they are playing they will make noise (laughing, crying or just playing with things loudly) and I wake up. This morning there was nothing. so I get up thinking they are being very quiet but when I go and look at their bedroom door it is open. I immediately start to panic!
I call out Margaret and James's names but I hear nothing. I search the upstairs and I did not see them. I stood at the top of the stairwell and see the downstairs door unlocked. John went out the front door this morning trying to be quiet (not running the garage door) since he had to leave early today for training. I felt another surge of panic when I saw the front door unlocked but from upstairs it appeared closed. I get Joseph up and change his diaper and then I headed downstairs.
Downstairs I went straight to the kitchen. It is not uncommon for them to make a beeline to the back door and head out into the backyard. As I walk into the kitchen I see the back door open. I put Joseph down and head outside to look for them. I called out their names since I did not immediately see them. There was no answer and it was quiet. That ball of dread came back worse then ever. I started to really panic then! I re-searched the downstairs again and then notice the front door was open. It was pulled to but it was OPEN! Then I hit FULL panic mode! I called John first and he did not pick up but I was crying and screaming hysterically at him on the phone as I left a voicemail. I heard the message later. I am surprised he could get anything out of it since I was screaming hysterically. He said he could understand that the front door was open, the children were missing and he thought I said "she is dead."
In a panic he leaves his training session and heads home. I get Joseph and place him in John's car, with no car seat, because John took my van. I buckled him into the front seat as best I could and them I took off to circle our neighborhood. As I am driving I call 911. I told the dispatcher that I was missing my children and she said it is ok because they had them. I started crying! Bawling really. I was relieved that Margaret and James were fine. Margaret had me especially worried since she will wonder out into the roadway because she has NO awareness of danger. So I go into hysterics again but this time it is from relief. Knowing that my children were ok.
Four police cars pull up to my house as I am pulling back into my driveway. I get Joseph out as one of the cops approached me. They, overall, were very nice. I them the children are autistic and two of the safety measures we have to prevent them from leaving the house were not used this morning. One of the police officers went asked if he could look over the house and I said yes while I spoke to the other 2 female police officers. They were nice. I got a good idea too of putting a label with the word autistic and my phone number on all their shirts. This is a great idea! It would help the police find me faster. They said they had been circling the neighborhood looking for a house with the door open.
After the police left John showed up. He was in hysterics because he thought Margaret had been killed. He was feeling guilty since he had left their bedroom unlocked. I told him it was okay because the children were fine. He asked for me not to be mad at him because it was all his fault. I told him it was my fault too since I did not notice that their bedroom door was not locked. I said I was happy to know the children were ok and back home.
What a scary story! This never should have happened and I know John and I will be WAY more vigilant in the future. What a way to wake up in the morning!