Cassidy and Alexis ran away today. Okay, so they didn’t run away. They decided to walk to Sophia’s house. TWO BLOCKS AWAY WITHOUT TELLING ANYBODY.

They had been running in and out of the back yard while Marie and I talked and talked and talked. We just have SO much to talk about! At one point when they ran through Cassidy says as she’s running by, “We aren’t going to Sophia’s!!” (Thank GOD she was foolish enough to say that or we’d not have known where to even BEGIN To look.) To which I responded something along the lines of, “Yeah because then you’d be in more trouble then you ever want to deal with.”

So, after awhile I decided that I needed to get home and we got up and started calling the girls in the house. Only there were no girls. At first it was no big deal. They hide from us all the time when it’s time to go. We casually chatted while we hunted for them.

After about five minutes it became pretty clear that they were not there… Not in the back yard where they had been told TWICE not to leave, not in the house, not in the front yard. We triple checked every spot and area. We both started to get pretty panicked when we realized.. they were just not there.

Marie hopped in her car and drove to Sophia’s. I stayed behind and kept looking. At this point we don’t actually know they are out of the yard. While Marie is over there I notice the guy across the street is out washing his cars so I go over to ask if he’s seen them. Yes, he saw them earlier out in the driveway.

This is where my heart hit the ground. Marie called. They weren’t at Sophia’s. So Sophia’s mom got in her car and searched the neighborhood one way while Marie went the other. As I watched Marie drive back by the house again looking I just about lost it. My heart started to beat so fast I couldn’t take a breath and in 5 seconds every news story I had heard about a sad ending to a missing child story ran through my head. I tried to call Ben but he was outside and the phone was inside. Panic mode is in full scale overload at this point.

I picked up the phone to call 911 when it started ringing. It was Marie. Sophia’s mom found the girls. A block PAST the turn to her house. She had them in the car and was on the way back to Marie’s. When I saw them I wanted to grab her and hold on and cry… and BEAT HER ASS at the same time.

That feeling lasted till I got home and talked to Ben about it and he could calm me down. Marie and I decided that every day after school they will sit separately and no playing, no talking, no listening to music, no TV… only homework and reading.

I spanked Cassidy for the first time in a LONG time. Then I sat down and had a long, very graphic talk, about just what could have happened to her. Kidnapping, death, never seeing her family again, bad men who hunt little girls. I usually try not to be as graphic or as blunt with her but I really needed her to understand just what could have happened to her. When I started talking about all this her face dropped, she got silent and started sobbing. It had finally dawned on her the severity of the situation. At just how bad this situation could have ended.

At home she’s grounded from EVERYTHING but books for a week. I even made her eat her dinner in her room. I told her that starting tomorrow she can eat with us but tonight she needs to really think about this.

*deep breath* I’m still so on edge about this that my stomach hurts. I’ve never felt anything so horrific in my life. There really just are no words to explain what I felt. What I was thinking. The torture. I’ve tried to type it, I’ve tried to explain it to Ben. There are just no words.

Right before she went to bed I told her, “I love you very much. And I was so scared for you today that it made me want to throw up. I was so scared that you were hurt or bleeding or lost or scared and it made mommy just… sick. I don’t want to be mad at you but I want you to understand how very much in trouble you are and how you can NEVER do this again.” She gave me a big hug and started sobbing again and while she had her arms around me said, “I won’t mommy, I promise.”

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