The scariest Halloween Story. Ever.

Today started much like any other school day, with the 4 cherubs emerging from their sleeping caves, grouchy, unkempt, and hungry for breakfast.

Exhibit A:  The Cherubs  Ages 10, 5, 9, 7

L-R: Cherubs #1, #4, #2, #3

Pay special attention to Girl Cherub above. She looks so sweet, innocent even.

Husband spent the wee hours of the night with Boy Cherub #3 enduring The Most Vomitous Night Ever. So we knew this morning there would be one less munchkin being sent off to the Elementary School. In the scheme of morning preparations, this makes things a tad simpler as the daily sock crisis would be shortened by two feet.

Boy Cherub #1 was having a rough morning. Instead of donning his Evil Emperor costume for the Halloween festivities as school, he should have dressed as Oscar from back in the day.

Enter Girl Cherub #2.  Girlfriend here takes after her momma. She does not like to be late. For anything. Ever. She is very responsible and knows how to get things done. She rose early, dressed in her vampire-queen/ghost costume and met me at the breakfast table with her snack packed, water bottle topped off, and school bag ready.

Boy Cherub #4 is sweet and kind, gallant, and on the ball. He sits at the table next to Girl Cherub #2 and has himself ready to go.

Fast Forward and we are all in the car, Cherubs #1, #2, and #4 are buckled in and ready to go. Boy Cherub #3 is watching cartoons on the couch extending The Most Vomitous Night into The Day. I pull the car out of the garage and park in the driveway. I need to run back in the house for my jacket.  I go into the house, grab my jacket and get back in the car. Elapsed time: 30 seconds. I turn around and look at the spawn.

Girl Cherub is missing.

“Where is your sister?” I ask, annoyed that she is not where she is supposed to be and the school bell will be ringing shortly.

“She went back in side,” says Boy #4. “I saw her go.” 

I run back inside and shout “Girl Cherub! It’s time to leave!”

No answer.

I call into the basement. “Girl! We are going to be late!” No answer.

My heart starts pounding right about now.

I call out into the backyard. “Girl Cheeeeerrrrrruuuubb!” No answer.

I’m sweating. Girl Cherub is not usually one to go off like this. My mind begins a flip flop between anger that she is making us all late, and worry because I really can’t find her.

I go back outside and call for her down the street. No answer.  Boy Cherub #4 swears he saw her go in the front door. That door is locked, so that isn’t possible.  Boy Cherub #1 admits he didn’t actually SEE her going back into the house. Here is where the panic began.

Husband starts frantically racing up and down through the house yelling and looking for Girl Cherub who at this point must have hit her head and be unable to call out to us.

I run to my office and grab the phone.  I am about to call the police.  I am beside myself. Disbelief washing over me that my daughter has actually been abducted. One of my greatest fears is being realized. This can’t be happening.

I am holding the phone about to dial 911. I look down and see the school directory sitting on my desk from the earlier call to excuse Vomitous Cherub #3 from school today.

I get an idea.

I dial the number.

After a short conversation with a man who must have thought I was one of those parents, he gets back on the phone and saves the day.

Turns out Girl Cherub was sitting in the car and absolutely furious over the fact that Boy Cherub #1 made us late today. And he KNEW that today was her classroom Halloween Party and he was Making us Late ON PURPOSE!  So, while sitting in the car, Girl Cherub spied the school bus rolling past our house. Not one to be late for anything. Ever. Girl Cherub grabbed her stuff, hopped out of the car, and flagged the bus down as it passed by the house. She got aboard and disappeared without a trace.

Of course, this is only a tad humerous because it ended well, but it is a cautionary tale.  I arrived, wide eyes and flustered to Girl Cherub’s classroom and interrupted her Halloween Party to have a talk with her in the hallway. She and I were a bumbling sobbing hugging squeezing mess as I explained how seriously scary things became at home when she made that choice to walk away and take the bus. She had no idea that we would be worried.

A lesson was learned all around, and even Boy Cherubs #1 and #4 were freaked out for a while. But Girl Cherub will never go anywhere without telling her parents again.  I’m sure I can use this when she is a bit older.

It’s ok to drink wine at 10am, right?  It’s evening somewhere.

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