We had a great day at Hershey Park today with Savageman's extended family. Middle had a great day of his own with his martial arts buddies who also happened to be there, but that's a different story entirely.
It was a pretty uneventful trip, other than when we temporarily lost Little, who is 8. I'm thinking he was on line getting his drink refilled when I headed for the bathroom and Savageman and family headed for the kiddie train, maybe 100 yards from the tables where we'd been sitting. I joined them at the train, took some pictures, and when the ride was over, Savageman looked perplexed.
Interestingly enough, it was the Teen, who has been complaining quite a bit lately about his annoying younger brother, who took off the fastest to look for him.
I wasn't particularly worried, and I don't think Savageman was either. I thought back over the incidences of Hershey Park Child Abductions over the years (none) and of Little's Common Sense Skills (considerable) and walked calmly over to the tables where we'd been. Sure enough, he was there walking around with his drink.
I approached him casually. "Hey, there you are! Where've you been?"
"I've been here looking for you!"
"Everyone went to the kiddie train - sorry you got left behind."
"It's okay. I knew you'd be back so I stuck around."
"Well, that was exactly the right thing to do because we knew exactly where to go to look for you."
"I figured if you didn't come back soon, I'd ask a security guard if I could use a phone to call you."
"Do you know the number?"
"Yup." He recited the number.
Maybe I should have felt like the Worst Parent in the World, but I didn't. My number one goal in most of the decisions I make with these boys is for them to be self-confident and self-reliant. I was very proud of him because 1) he stayed calm and didn't panic, 2) he trusted us to come back for him, 3) he knew the smartest thing was to stay in the area and 4) he had a well-thought-out backup plan.
Maybe we're doing something right...