No matter where you are and no matter what you are doing, the sound of a child crying will nearly every time turn every mothers head. And even if it is not your child crying you cannot help for that one small moment to look for your own.
The sound of this particular child crying caught my attention instantly, it wasn't Seth but he sounded just like him and at the exact same time Leah was tugging on my shirt, "Momma, I can't find Seth". The curtain fabric I'd been looking at already forgotten as I knelt down in front of my 8 year old daughter. "What do you mean you can't find him Leah, he was just here", taking her little hand in mine I started to scan around the the fabric section and surrounding area's. "We were playing hide and seek Momma but I can't find him", "It's ok Leah he can't have gone far.....come on sweetheart, lets go find your brother". I searched every inch of the area before I headed toward the toy department, constantly telling myself that we would find him sitting in the middle of the aisle playing with a shiny truck that had caught his attention... but he wasn't in the toy department, with Leah in tow I walked up and down every aisle desperately trying to keep the rising panic from my voice as I repeatedly called Seth's name. From one department to another we searched with no trace of Seth, Leah could sense how fearful I had become as we began looking for an assistant to raise the alarm of my lost son. "Blue Jeans, ah a red shirt and blue jacket" I stammered, as I choked backed the tears.
Where was he, where was my baby, those words deafened me as they as they dominated my thoughts. The call went out over the whole store, please be on the lookout and with it was Seth's description. I felt like I couldn't breathe where was he? I couldn't stand still, so Leah and I continued our search with the increasingly worried looking assistant joining us.
It was then while searching of all places the baby department that I saw this enormous teddy bear pefectly displayed with other plush toys with my little Seth snuggled up in his lap. "Seth" I choked, the tears now spilling over in relief to see that he was safe, "He's nice momma", Seth's chubby little hand was continuously patting the bears stomach. Leah let go of my hand and put her hands on her hips, "You are in big trouble Mr" she quipped, I smoothed down her hair and kissed her forehead, "It's ok sweety and one day when your older I'll tell you all about the time you pretty much did the same thing to your poor mother".
Crouching down and opening my arms, Seth bid his furry friend farewell and ran over for a hug, "You scared me little man, please don't you ever walk off on your own again ok" I whispered, "Ok Momma" he muffled back as he tiny little arms wrapped around my neck.
I can with all honesty say, that I have never been more relieved in my life.