Monday, September 27, 2010

The Military Unit of Wal-mart

I broke my personal code yesterday and did my monthly Wal-mart shopping on a Sunday. I'm not a huge fan of Wal-mart anyway, but I especially detest going there on the weekend because it's even more unbearable than during the week. I waited until after dinner and took Z1 with me to do our shopping.

Z1 is nine and beginning to feel the need to assert his independence and more and more often, his opinions. Not a bad thing. Except when he keeps walking off from me at a Super Wal-mart. Those places are huge, with all kinds of people walking about. I was by electronics when it happened. I kept waiting for him to "Come.On. Son." and I finally turned my back and said,"Okay. Mommy's leaving. Let's go."

Usually works, right? I walked for about 20 seconds and before I turned into the next aisle, I looked back and he wasn't there. Irritated, I made a turn to go back, promising myself that he was going to need discipline when I found him. I walked back to where he had been and he was simply gone. No sign of him. Now I'm beginning to call out his name. Usually I get a response right away, right? Not this time. I'm walking around the electronics department, up and down each aisle, calling his name. NO RESPONSE. Now I'm starting to worry a little. I begin broadening my search and still no sign of Z1. Not in electronics. Not in pets. Not in toys. After 10 minutes I'm clearly beginning to worry/panic slightly. I see a sales associate.

"Excuse me, Miss, I seem to have lost my son. I can't find him anywhere."

"Come with me to the dressing rooms, please, we can make a call out from there."

She takes me to another associate who immediately picks up the phone and breaks over the intercom," Attention all Associates. CODE ADAM. We have a lost boy who is..." and she begins repeating the descriptors as I say them.

Other parents see me (as I'm trying to hold it together... I will not cry! I will. not. cry.! Dang it! There goes a tear...) and they say,"Lost your son? We're on it." They didn't know each other. They didn't know me or my son. But they split up and began looking in the direction Z1 and I lost each other. The sales associate begins to make the call again. It's only been a minute. Doors have been closed. Sales associates are looking through all the aisles.

And halfway through the associate's announcement, a male voice breaks in,"We have the boy. Cancel CODE ADAM. Bringing him to clothing."

The manager brought back a scared little guy to his thankful Mom. I kissed and hugged him, then promptly grounded his butt, threatening to make him ride in the cart like a 3-yr old if he could not contain his wandering feet. (Yes. I did.)

Amazing what will bring people together. Passerbys who are simply doing for someone else what they would hope someone would do for them. Workers trained for situations we hope never happen. What I could not do in 12 minutes, they accomplished in 1 min, 15 seconds. Yes, Wal-mart as a military unit. Amazing!

Yours, thankful for responders!


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