Lost at the Children's Zoo

Isaac, Eli, and I were waiting in line for the boat ride at the Ft. Wayne Children's Zoo when Isaac saw some zoo maps. At some point prior to this, Isaac had missplaced his previous map. He loves carrying around the zoo map and was extremely disappointed when he lost his map earlier. So I let him go pick up two - one to carry and one to keep in the stroller for a replacement when he lost the one he was carrying again.

Despite just getting the maps, I didn't want Isaac to carry the maps onto the boat ride which might result in it getting wet. But I also didn't want to lose our place in line. We had already waited there ten minutes. So I decided to have Isaac go by himself to give the map to Lindsay who was standing just twenty feet away. I could see her and the path all the way leading to her. It seemed relatively safe.

I watched Isaac all of the way. He was now less than 4 feet away from Lindsay; however, Lindsay nor Isaac saw one another. Isaac was still looking around aimlessly. I should've held him up and showed him where Lindsay was standing. And Lindsay was just daydreaming. I should've attracted her attention to the fact that Isaac was going to be walking up the path alone.

Then it happened.

With Isaac only being 4 feet away from Lindsay a group of around twenty people just appeared out of nowhere. I lost my view of Isaac. Then the group was gone. And so was Isaac.

I yelled, "Lindsay, do you see Isaac!?"

For some stupid reason, I still didn't want to lose my place in line. The woman behind me said, "I will hold your place in line if you need to go."

And go I did. I ran to Lindsay. I looked down both trails that he could've gone. Still no Isaac. We could hear him yelling, "Mama! Mama!" But I couldn't tell which direction it was coming from. So I took off running in the direction that would lead to the exit of the zoo. And prayed. I ran across a little bridge that went over the waterway the boats would go through into a giant courtyard where over 200 people were playing and sitting. I peered through the crowd quickly. Still no Isaac. If he had wandered there and was playing, I would have to find him later because my main concern was somebody getting out of the zoo with him. So I went down the path that would lead to the exit. After running about a football field, I decided he wasn't this way. I turned around and sprinted back.

I peered through the courtyard again to see if I could see him. Still no Isaac. Back over the bridge and down the other path, I continued to run. Lindsay was up at the ticket booth beginning to report our missing child. My imagination was running wild. The zoo is definitely not the place you want to lose your child in. So many dangerous options. Besides my worries that he could've been snatched up by some sexual predator, I was also worried that he would climb into some animal cage that he shouldn't go into. I prayed some more.

I ran down the path, past the Australian dogs, past the Australian pigs, and into the kangaroos. There he was. He was no longer yelling. He was just walking peacefully down the path. I said, "What are you doing?" He replied, "Looking for mama like you told me." And that is how it ended. Isaac was safe. We were relieved to find him. He enjoyed the boat ride. I let him carry his map on.


The weird thing is that about twenty minutes later we found a lost kid. He was wandering around aimlessly without any parents. We helped him find his.

Watch out for the potholes.