Cecilia will be six months this Thursday. We're finding this to be a really fun age. Her hobbies include babbling, blowing spit bubbles, playing patty cake, chewing toys, and looking out windows or at the bathroom mirror. She loves hanging out in her baby saucer, or as my dad calls it, the ring of neglect. For the first few months Michelle and I would often eat in shifts. No more fights over who has to eat cold dinner. We throw her in the saucer and away we go.
What a shame it would have been if we'd missed out on all of this because of her recent near kidnapping.
The scene of the crime
A few weeks ago I had a Sunday afternoon off after a busy stretch of gigs. Michelle and I did the logical thing, and ..... took Cecilia to someone else's gig. Our friends Dana Wylie and Kirsten Elliot were playing at a refugee fund-raiser at a hall a few blocks from our house.
After about half an hour of listening to great music, Cecilia decided she wanted in on the action. To be fair, Dana did say it was a sing along. Cecilia loudly babbled and cooed through the whole song, flute solo and all. I had a hard time not tearing up. (Why is tearing spelled the same as tearing? Don't worry, didn't want to tear the baby apart to silence her.)
Poor Michelle. Let's just say it can be hard to navigate a crowded room with a blind husband and a stroller. I probably should have got her something for Valentines day this year? Anyway, where were we? Because of how difficult this navigation can be we decided that I'd hold down the fort with Cecilia on the break while Michelle bought us some tea and snacks. Right as the break began, our friend Penny came by to say hello and hold Cecilia. Michelle passed her over to Penny, told me to watch the baby, and left the room. Penny stood up to walk around with Cecilia. She said she was going to hold her, then pass her off to our friend Marianne.
I found myself in a room full of loud noise, with no way of finding my daughter. She was gone. A few people tried talking to me, but mostly they sounded like the grownups on Charlie Brown.
What if she's crying?
What if Penny passes her to someone, who passes her to someone else, and all of a sudden, we can't find her?
What if Michelle comes back and asks me where Cecilia is? "Ummm, I don't know." seems like a bad answer.
What have I done?
What actually happened:
There were maybe 50 or 60 people in the hall. I think Cecilia was the only baby. Everyone in the hall knew whose baby she was, because of her excellent crowd participation. The dessert line was actually in the main hall, not in the other room as I'd assumed. Michelle was watching Cecilia happily hanging out in Penny's arms, thinking about how nice it was that I had a chance to catch up with people. Penny is a loving grandmother. She must know a thing or two about not losing kids as...... she didn't lose hers. Not exactly a dangerous situation worthy of a panic attack.
You know, I learned something today…
Obviously, I overreacted. Cecilia was in the arms of someone I know and trust, in a room full of people who like folk music and supporting refugees. With my perception of Michelle being out of the room, I felt like I was supposed to be in charge. It's not easy, as a blind person, to find a person in a crowd of people without asking for assistance. I guess I felt powerless. I think that's something I'll have to learn to handle. Most of me thinks this. I need to trust people. But there's a small part of me that's still a bit terrified even writing about what happened. I know giving kids space is healthy. I need to learn how to relax. But..... I CAN'T FIND THE BABY!!! Penny, kidnap my baby any time. It's good for me.