Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wonderfest Lost

Last Saturday, I felt guilty because all I wanted to do was sit in front of the TV like a vegetable.” So I yelled at Luca and Elijah, “All you two want to do is sit in front of the TV like a couple of vegetables.”

I gathered them and their cousins up and drove to Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest: a nondenominational celebration of Christmas and PNC Bank. No one else had this idea except for three million other families. Thankfully, Winter Wonderfest was conveniently located a mile from our parking spot.

I paid the $5 entry fee for everyone because I was feeling un-Scroogey. Once we entered, we realized you needed the $25 ticket to ride any of the rides. Which made me feel extra Scroogey.  But I could not deny these children the joy of experiencing the season’s most special tradition of jumping in bouncy houses.

After riding the Holiday Train through the land of spooky teddy bears, the kids were split on whether to stay and stand in line for the Standing In Line ride or head home and watch TV. Steve and I swung the vote to home by dragging them by their coat hoods towards the door.

I turned to the group and announced that everyone must go pee pee before we got in the car. That means you, Luca.

Where’s Luca?

I spun around counting children. Where’s Luca?

I sprung into action. My solution to finding my lost son was to stand in place shouting, “WHERE’S LUCA?” over and over again in increasingly shrill, womanly ways.

He was out of my sight for maybe 10 seconds, but I was overcome with a terror I’ve never felt in my life. The walls closed in on me, echoing my screams of “Where’s Luca?”

Thankfully, cousin Finn is a man of action. While his uncle screamed, he walked in concentric circles until he found Luca, crying near the North Pole direction sign.

Luca was understandably freaked out. When Finn delivered him to me his expression was exactly what I felt in my heart at that moment. I hugged him hard and told him, “I got you. I got you.”

We drove home and he seemed to be ok. But I needed some alone time in front of the TV.

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