One day in about March, 1990, when John was almost three, I dressed all three boys warmly in their snowsuits and sent them outside to play. It had snowed a short time before, so there was lots of snow. Our gravel driveway and the surrounding streets were white, covered with packed snow.
I stayed inside to get some things done, but kept glancing out the window to check that the boys were okay. Our yard was in a little hollow and the boys had always stayed around the swing set --- until that day.
John had the toy lawnmower outside, so he started “mowing” the snow. Lost in his own world, he “mowed” down the snow-covered driveway and turned to go along the edge of the now-white side street on which we lived. Next, he followed the curve of the road that went in front of the corner service station. Finally, he headed up the lonely snow-packed county road that led out of the little town in which we lived
Beyond the service station, there were no houses for a long ways since the road was surrounded by fields. We lived at the edge of the town, and outside of the city limits, the speed limit on the county road was 55 miles per hour.
It must have been a few minutes before I looked out the window to check on the boys again and noticed John was gone. I was very distraught, running all around the yard, searching desperately for my little boy.
Fortunately, my distress did not last long. Shortly after I started searching, a mechanic from the corner garage came by our house --- carrying a little boy and a toy mower. "Is this little guy yours?" he asked. "I found him on the county road heading north out of town! You should keep better watch over your kids!”
I felt about an inch high, and knew I was the worst mother in the world, but I didn’t care.
I was almost hysterical with relief that John was safe and sound and back home again.
(Extracted photo of John taken two years before above story happened; photo of three boys taken around the time the story happened, but not the same day)
Snowflakes by DS - Anna; Holiday Sugar Cookies alpha (re-colored) by FD; CU textures; Font: Teen Bold