As I pulled my car around to the front of the building all the children started piling in their parents SUVs. "Where's my daughter," I asked the others. Blank faces and doubtful head nods. No one has seen her? She's the only black actor is the cast. "Where is my child?" Immediately, I ran into the building searching for my dearest.
"She probably rode with another parent," suggested one mother. Probably? That wasn't good enough. I needed to know for sure that she rode with someone and with whom.
"Do you have any numbers?" I asked. I didn't know her name nor any names of the other parents.
"No," she said too calmly for my taste. If it was her child she would be freaking out just like me...probably!
"My daughter wouldn't have gone with anyone...she knew I was driving. She would have waited for me or at least called me on my cell to ask my permission before getting into a car with anyone." Resignedly, I left the library to lead the others to our destination and peeking back at the door in hopes that she would run out. Panic thoughts overwhelmed me, "I forgot to check the restroom! What if she went to use the bathroom?"
Trying to multiltask while driving, I searched my email on my Blackberry and located the number to the other library. I left word with the librarian for the performance crew to call me as soon as they arrived because...how do I put this? I lost my daughter!
As I pulled up into the parking lot my cell phone rang. It was my daughter letting me know that she was at the library. I was furious as anxiety and fear had built up in me. I fussed at her for riding with a stranger without my permission as tears flowed from my eyes. "But, Mr. Craig told me to ride with them," she stammered. "No, I am your mother and you knew better!" All the talks and warnings must have escaped her as she trusted the direction of a familiar face and allowed it to overule my authority.
Crazy thoughts were flooding my mind (you never know what predators lurk and watch while waiting for the right moment to lure a child), but it was so emotional for me to hear her voice and know that she was safe. What fear for a mother...she just made another gray hair pop into my head!