Monday, July 26, 2010

The Good, Bad and the Ugly

I will start with the good. Over the past 2 weekends Pete and I got to catch up with long time friends from the Academy days.  Tony is one of Pete's oldest Coastie friends and we are glad to be close to each other for the 1st time in 14 years. 
Time has past but somehow everything is still exactly the same.  When we are with them we spend a lot of time laughing and more time talking over each other because we are ALL extravert's who like to get "the laugh".  So much fun!!
It is so fun being with people who speak the same military language.  What's even more fun is Tony is a boat guy who has had such a different Coast Guard career path.  He is "kinda" a big deal in the small world of the Coast Guard...we like hanging out with people who are..."big deals". He just got transferred from his last job as Admiral Allen's press guy.  There may be something more official to call him...but that's what I got out of the conversation.
Between us there are 8 children.  They have 3 boys that are not sure what to do with all the pretty faces sitting on top of the missile ....posing!!!!!  Lucy is not sure what she thinks either...clearly! comes the bad part.  We all had a great day down at Pensacola beach.  We first went to the Air and Space museum on the Navy Base and then headed over to the beach for dinner and fun. 
Flounders is a favorite place of ours for several reasons.  We used to go there years ago when Pete was in flight school and many a happy night was spent on the sand of Flounders.  Now a days we love going there because you can sit right next to your child playing on the playground.  It is the best of both worlds...parents happy!!
We ate dinner and headed down to the bay side quiet water beach.  The water is very shallow and there is no waves or rough water.  There were 8 children and 4 adults.  We all were watching and chatting.  Tony and Pete at one end of the beach and Tracy and I about 50 yards away with all 8 kids between us.  Pete went up to the bar to get a drink for himself and I asked him to bring me a water.  I told him..."I've got it...go ahead."
And I did have it. All kids were happily playing, some alone...some together.  But I had my eye on all of them.  I was even taking some pictures until Pete left then I put down my camera so I could watch more closely.
Pete comes back and forgets my water.  I said, "Don't worry just get it next time (knowing there would be a next time)."  He said, "No, I'll just run up now and get it."
When he left Jack was sitting right behind me doing exactly what you see.  Tracy and I were chatting right in front of him.  Next thing I know Pete comes back, gives me my drink and goes back to chatting with Tony.  He is standing in the water near a few children.  About 30 seconds later I look around and don't see Jack.  "Pete, where is Jack? I don't see him."  We both start yelling Jack... and he is nowhere!  We are getting totally panicked.  I am running around now FREAKING out.  He can swim ...but not well and he was running back and forth from the sand to the water.  I was not sure where I had seen him last.  Pete is walking through the water thinking the worst and I am SCREAMING his name.

I start running up to Flounders to look on the playground...not thinking he was there because I would have seen him walk past me ...right??  I glance at the playground and he is not there.  Still screaming his a completely full Saturday night crowd, a man comes walking out of the bar area holding Jack.  Thank you Jesus is all I could think.  I grabbed him and started bawling pretty good.  I tried to yell back at Pete but I could not speak.  I could not walk because I was shaking so bad.  I truly thought he may have drowned right in front of me while I was chatting with my friend. 

Of course the man who handed Jack to me just walked towards Pete and talked with him knowing I was not able to put 2 words together.  He told Pete he found the little man walking around the bar , he said he was looking for his dad.  The man asked him what his dad's name was and he said, "Daddy."  The man must have glanced down at the beach and seen a crazy woman running all over the place SCREAMING a boys name and put 2 and 2 together.
We got our Jack back and we all lived happily ever after.....

Here's what we think happened.  When Pete went back the second time to get my water Jack must have dashed off behind him.  Since he was sitting behind me on the sand I did not know he left when Pete did.  Pete had no idea he was being followed by the little guy.  I am so horrified and terrified by the whole event.  All is well, but super scary!!!

Needless to say we had a good day.  That whole event was probably less than 2 minutes long...but probably the most memorable moments we have had in a long time.  We hope to see our old friends again soon...if they are promised the SCREAMING terrified mom will not return.  I hope she never does either.


  1. I have had an experience like that-so terrifying!

  2. great. now I'm crying and I haven't even finished my coffee yet.

  3. Oh, Lisa, I know the terror! I thought I lost Gabe when he was 18 mos old. Then I "lost track" of Sarah when she was 6 mos old, but hadn't even realized it until someone wheeled her up in her stroller and asked, "Does this one belong to you?" gulp!