I took this photo of the most spectacular rainbow I have ever seen…right after enduring the worst 45 minutes of my life as a parent.
For 45 minutes today, I had absolutely no idea where my 11-year-old daughter was. She had called me from the rec center asking me to take her to her running class which was being held at a nearby park. I arrived 12 minutes later…to find she was nowhere to be found. I drove to the park…no one was there; it was completely empty. Panic set in. I drove back to the rec center and started asking questions…Complete strangers began searching bathrooms, pool areas and gyms. Word travelled quickly that an 11-year-old girl was missing…
Twenty minutes after arriving at the rec center, I drove back to the park again…an empty park and cold wind greeted the tears streaming down my face.
The police were called…descriptions were given…and the kindness of strangers kept me sane. Two unbelievably kind women, whom I had never met before, kept watch and stayed by my side…they even drove me to the park again 10 minutes later…where I found my daughter standing with her running group completely oblivious of her relieved mother who sat sobbing inside of a car.
This incredibly responsible and bright 11-year-old girl, who had NEVER been allowed to walk to her girlfriend’s house down the street without a walkie-talkie, took it upon herself to test her burgeoning independence…she decided to walk to the park from the rec center.
The immaturity of a child that lives inside the body of a pre-teen showed me what utter fear and grief could look like…it was the worst 45 minutes I hope to ever know.
And the most spectacular rainbow I had ever seen was nothing compared to seeing my daughter safe inside my car.