For a short time this weekend, I lost Jack.
Whilst camping at Longleat Caravan Park Jack and I were washing the dishes. Jack wrapped up his lot and I moved in to start mine.
Am I done then?
Do I have to stay here? Can I got back to the camper?
The problem was that whole I could actually see our camper out the window of the dish washing room there wasn't a direct route to it. The route we has was rather windy. All the buildings and caravans look the same and there are little roads going off in every direction.
Do you know the way back?
A total lapse in judgement in my part, but I was only going to be a couple minutes so I was likely to catch him up on my way back to the camper so. To be honest I didn't give it much thought at all. I said, sure head on back I'll be right there.
Off he trotted with the step in hand. As the seconds passed and I scrubbed through the dishes I began to become more and more certain that he was going to get lost. And he did. 5 minutes later I hustled back to the camper to find no sign of him.
At no time was I really worried. The campsite wasn't all that big. The people are all friendly and helpfull and the step was heavy. So he wasn't going to have gone very far and he wouldn't have been moving very fast. I had a good idea of where he would be from previous strolls through the caravan park. He had a tendency to always veer to the right at on particular junction. Also there's only one way put of the caravan park and there were security cameras. I could see the exit and may even have snapped a photo of the licence plate of the single vacating caravan... just in case. but what kind of crazy panicky parent would actually do that... If needs be I could have the whole place locked down and filled with police and search helicopters within minutes. I didn't even have to unlock my phone to make that call.
One thing that did worry me was what state he would be in when I found him. Jack doesnt like being on his own and there nothing that makes you feel more alone than being lost. I was convinced I'd find him sobbing and shaking and traumatised and never wanting to let go of my hand ever again as long as he lived.
I found Jack after about five minutes pretty much right where I'd expected him to be, as I searched I was flagged down by some kids who had noticed him wander by with the step in tow. I strode to where they pointed and found him wandering between a couple of caravans. He was quite calm, clearly a little stressed but otherwise ok. I took the step from him and we strolled back to the camper. He got a little tearful as he talked about it later, as he thought about the experience a little bit more but all in all I think he's alright.