Sunday, March 23, 2008

Family or running?

I had a chance to think about the above question the other day. Last Thursday, a public holiday here, I set off to my Bulgarian mate's house for a spring BBQ. My wife went somewhere else so I took the kids as "Tiho" has kids too and I thought with the kids playing we would be able to get down to some serious talking, eating and drinking. A win win situation :)

About 20 minutes into the BBQ my youngest "Tyler" and Tiho's youngest "George" 4 and 5 respectively said they were going to the park next door and we waved them off in that direction busy with putting the first slabs of meat on the barbie.

After a beer, a chat and a nibble I left the BBQ zone to just check in on the kids.
I briefly looked through the hedges and a nonchalantly commented to Tiho, "Kids aren't in the park." "I'll go and get them and we'll put the sausages on for them eh" "Right then" said Tiho. It was from this moment that one of the worst days of my life played out.

Forward 7 hours later, it was dark, I was searching the reed beds that fringed a large nearby pond and elsewhere, neighbours, friends, family and dozens of local police were also searching for our two little boys. About 9:30pm I got a call on my mobile phone. It was Tiho saying "They found the boys!" I promptly sat down in the long grass and cried tears of pure joy and relief.

Apparently they were found about 8 kms away trying to get a bus home,with no money and to where they had no idea. A person getting off the bus at the same time took them to the police station.

As I was searching all those hours, in vain, for the boys I thought a lot about my values and my family and I can tell you I didn't think about "running" at all. But to be fair when I'm running I don't think about my "family" either ;) Still there is no question what my first priority is. Without the presence, love and support of my family I couldn't enjoy anything life has to offer.

So I'd better start with some actions to prove my supposition. The first being to not complain about my wife's cooking. See comic below ;)


  1. Scott, I can't imagine the anguish. I am so glad your story has a happy ending. It sure helps bring a lot of things into perspective. Especially what we should value above all else.

  2. Thank goodness that story had a happy ending. I have tears in my eyes as I sit here writing. I don't want to imagine what you went through for those 8 hours.

    Our children are so precious. I am so glad that yours are safe and sound.

  3. That is a scary experience. So glad everything turned out for the best.

  4. I just want to know if the sausages got burnt????

    No I am only kidding because I can't imagine what went through your mind and how you would have tortured yourself on the day. I hope the kids have been chastised for running off and you have overcome your shock and grief.

    My heart ached when I read your story even though I knew it would end well (being a post on your blog) I have lost a son in the cinema and gone through the pain of just NOT KNOWING and your story brought it all back.

    Yes....being good the to wife is always a way of improvement :))))))

  5. OMG. I'm at a loss for words, though a couple of four letter ones snuck out as I was reading. I feel sick in the stomach thinking about what you went through.

    Actually, now I realise why my parents were so upset one day when my brother and I took a dog we were minding for a little walk .... and got home 6 hours later. We couldn't understand the fuss.

  6. Snap!

    Just as I hit enter to post my comment on your blog I received your comment on my blog :)

  7. Being as intuitive as Clairie, I knew it would end well, but, bloody hell mate, what a day! If you lived in Brisbane rather than Osaka I would have really been worried ;)

    Did the boys fess up that they were heading to Maccas for a decent feed?

    Thinking of Tesso's comment, back in the old days (in primary school), Mum was happy to see me and my mates go off on the bikes all day - nothing to worry about except gravel rash from the occasional stack.

  8. Geez Scott, that's a horror of a day. I can only guess at the emotions that would have been flooding through you. It's at times like those that the worst possible scenarios play out in our minds, and we blame ourselves for a lot of stuff. I'm just glad that this one came out ok in the end (even if you are a couple of years older.......).

    Glad the boys were safe. Also glad it didn't happen in Adelaide!

    Where did they go? I know that when I was younger I had to get distracted by something to disappear like that - but, then, I lived in a town of 2000 people, so my mother never worried!

  9. Scott, what a nightmare. Sorry to hear of your terrible day. I do have some idea of your anguish because we "lost" Chiaki when he was about 2. He "disappeared" from the house as my wife was having a cuppa with a friend. When they realized he was gone they searched high and low, all around the house, right through the yard up and down the street. Police called, me called at work, me driving 40 min home with my guts churning and similar tears of anguish and helplessness. When I got home everyone was having a good old laugh because he'd taken himself off to bed and got curled right in under the doona. When my wife searched the bedroom she didn't give the bed a second look...I mean, toddlers just don't
    take themselves off to bed.

  10. That is really scary. It is awful when a kid is missing for an hour, but 7+ hours - I had to scroll to the bottom to make sure everything ended okay before I read on. Glad they are safe.