Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The dreaded implantable ID chip

Yesterday, I went over to my friend’s house. She has two boys one of whom is in Will’s school. Her husband is out of town for the month and I decided to move in since space is available. It’s really nice to have friend who is an “autism” mom because she just gets it. I have lots of friends and family who don’t bat an eye if Will walks past them naked but it’s a little different dynamic to hang with someone in the same situation.

Anyway, I was watching her clean her garage which I found very vicariously satisfying. She threw away some of her husband’s junk, and I thought “ahh, if only I could do that.” I don’t touch my husband’s stuff. Rather, I politely and sweetly point out the lack of necessity of keeping say, a broken DVD player. But it never fails that every time I convince him to get rid of some piece of junk a year later he needs it.

While I am watching my friend clean her cupboard handles we realize that we have not seen her son for a while. We split up and search her house twice. Then we start looking down her street. Two of her neighbors join the search. 10 minutes later she calls the police and I head to route 30 in my car. I can’t see him anywhere but I alert more neighbors to look for him. After a few minutes I give up and return to search closer. I’m trying to remember what he was wearing. Oh, that’s right – the perfect tee-shirt to be lost in. As I pull up to her house there are six police cars there with at least two more pulling up. I see her holding her son. They saw him walk down the driveway a couple houses down with very dirty feet and a book that didn’t belong to him.

I was happy to see that the police had taken the call so seriously. It did bring back memories of the multiple times that Will has run away. My husband put extra locks on the door the day my neighbor woke me with a call at 6:00am. She said, “Will is in the street in front of my house.”

I still half asleep replied, “No, he’s in bed asleep.”

“It really looks like him,” she said.

As I woke up I realized that I should double check on him. And sure enough little four year-old footprints in the snow led from my door to the street.

His ID bracelet has come in handy on multiple occasions. Fortunately, we are past the days of daily bolting into the street and routinely retrieving Will from the park in various states of undress. Quite often he was only wearing underwear. The day I found him wearing only a pair of underwear on backwards was a little embarrassing (repeat mantra: that’s the kind of mother I am. That’s the kind of mother I am.) Usually the underwear was in the correct position when he wandered mostly naked to the park. The day I found him at the park only wearing a shirt I thought I really should bring clothes with me when I retrieve him at the park. And I was very, very grateful that the day to police brought him home he was fully dressed except for shoes!

I’ve thought about implanting a locator chip in him but I can’t bring myself to do it.


Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle said...

So glad he has been safe thus far. What a scary thing to deal with!

Alysia - Try Defying Gravity said...

one of my biggest fears. I know at age 4 he wouldn't leave on purpose, but if he couldn't find me for a moment, I'm afraid he'd open the door and head out to look for me. Thanks for the reminder to stay vigilant.

@jencull (jen) said...

I dread hitting the 'escape' stage, we haven't yet but it is only a matter of time. I will take your advice and remember to bring clothes with me!! Thanks for joining in blog gems. Jen

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