this lady brought the boys home today


My head is heavy, I’m tired, I want to lay down right where I stand, to sleep.  My heart hurts; Seth is starting Kindergarten in two days.  My sadness is making me snap at the children when they make mistakes or turn the TV on — again.  After watching an hour of “Arthur” this morning, I sent Caleb and Seth outside.  They had plenty of energy to play “Jedi” without mercy, and Caleb slapped Seth’s upper arm very hard with his light Saber….I left the kitchen where I was helping a sick Sarah, and ran toward the screams.  After yelling at Caleb about how I would prefer Seth not to start school with a huge bruise on his arm, I took Seth inside to run him a bath.

Caleb got busy making a plan to stay outside all day long.  He wanted to pack stuff.  “You may not pack stuff, but you may stay outside all day long, although I highly doubt that you will succeed,” I spoke with experience.

Seth overheard the conversation and immediately wanted to get out of the tub to join Caleb.  Friends again so soon, I noticed.

Caleb made sandwiches, put them in his backpack.  Seth got dressed.  Neither one of them wore shoes.  They told me later that they had mentioned to me that they were going for a walk.  All I knew, and believed, was that they were going into the woods, to Lion King rock  (they named it), to stay all day long.

I was troubled.  Sarah had a fever.  David had a Middle School Orientation.  I checked the school website for the time, and located the class supplies list.  Although I was tired, I knew I had to take him downtown to get his stuff for school.  I took Ethan along, as well, leaving Grace in charge of Sarah.  I told Jacob that the boys were playing in the woods and asked him to go check on them.

I was almost home when Jacob called and said he was on the adventure trail (we named that place, too), he had called them seven times, and there was no sign of them.  Still trying to stay awake, I pulled into the driveway to be greeted by Grace.

“Mom, some lady just called and said she didn’t know us and we didn’t know her but she had two little boys with her.”

I stared at her.  The sun was hot on the driveway.  My hands were full of library books.

“She gave the phone to Caleb and I talked to him.  They are fine.  The lady asked if someone was home to get them and I said no, you were gone.  I told her that Jacob would walk to get them and she said she didn’t want anyone walking that far and she didn’t want the little boys to walk that far.  She’s bringing them home.  And just so you know, she sounds like the type that is going to want an explanation about why two boys are walking in the woods so far from home.”

I got the phone to dial the last call received.   A very old man answered.  “I’m almost completely deaf and can’t hear too well.  Did you say you are calling about two boys?  Well, gee, it would have been better if you had come to get them.  My wife doesn’t know the roads!  Call back in half an hour!”

I hung up the phone, at a complete loss.  The lady was already gone with my sons, I had no idea who she was, but judging by the conversation with her husband, I expected a poor old lady, all confused, with my two terrible children who were obviously also confused.  They probably didn’t even know where they were!  How could they explain the way home to someone who doesn’t know roads?

Grace said, “I’m sorry Mom that this had to happen.”  I couldn’t speak.  We stood in the driveway and waited.  A car came and went on by.  Then another.

“I hope and pray that’s them,” I said as the next car approached.  And praise the Lord, it was.

“I just couldn’t let them try to walk!  They walked so far already!  It was so good they knew their phone number.  They don’t seem the worse for wear after their walk.  My husband was a state trooper and he told me do not leave them unless someone is home.  I wanted to give them a snack but I didn’t dare, people are so afraid these days.  Well, I need to go!  I’m a mess!  I have to get ready for bridge and do I have a story to tell them this morning!  You have very nice boys, they were very polite.”

And off she went, after I thanked her sincerely for her trouble, and shaking her hand.  Her name was Norma.

Caleb said they walked there through the woods and went to her house because they were lost.  He knocked on the door and said, “We are lost, can you please help us?”  And help Norma did, with all the energy of a much younger woman.  I love old ladies like that, it was a pleasure to meet her, however I am BEYOND flummoxed about Caleb and Seth, and we gave them quite a lecture.  “We told you we were going for a walk!!!”  “Even if that WAS what you told me, what do you THINK a walk IS?”  “When you walk, you go on the trail and around back to home, not in a straight line completely through the woods!!!”

They ate their sandwiches and I sent them to bed.  We all took naps.

I leave in 15 minutes to take Jacob and Ethan to practice, and David’s school orientation is at 6pm.


This is Sarah Joy yesterday morning, on her way to church with a book bag.  By the time we got back home she was feverish.


I went for another walk this morning.  These are the berries from a Jack in the Pulpit plant.


I ate these.


Of course little Sammy found me and even got in my lap with her cold wet paws.




Jewel weed, covered in dew.



These spiders always give me the creeps, yet I still stop to look at them……


I have to admit the web is quite impressive.


Jacob discovered a huge caterpillar in my garden.  It’s a Cecropia Moth caterpillar, it unfortunately has parasites on it’s back, so I don’t think it will survive, which is such a shame.  I had the honor of seeing a pair of these moths just after they hatched one spring.


They tiny white ovals on it’s back (with some black; diseased tissue) are the parasites (eggs laid by a fly).


After a very long walk through the woods, Seth needed a nap.

I’ll never forget their faces as Norma pulled in the driveway with them. Bright eyes, smiles, and happy waves!  They didn’t care in the least.


18 thoughts on “this lady brought the boys home today

  1. Oh my, Shanda….such a story! Glad they are ok. Can only imagine the lecture AND the what-if thoughts you did not say.
    Perfect photo of Sarah. Hope she feels better soon.
    I do not miss the crazy-first-days-of-school-plus-sport-practices. And I only had five.
    You go, girl! Pray up every day! You need it for strength!
    D xo

  2. Wow, and you still had enough energy in you to share all this after everything you went through? Although you had a story to share! Thankful everyone is safe and hope you get a rest!
    Hope Sarah is better soon. Hugs to you friend!

  3. Oh my, glad your little adventurers were led to a robust, kindly old couple. Hope little Sarah is better. David and I picked up a bug last week and we feel yucky (esp. David) I love the “jewels” from the woods. Hugs.

  4. You are wonderful! I loved this story. 🙂 I hope you never quit blogging because I would miss you and your wonderful family so much.

    • Oh your words made me smile! So glad to know that you are enjoying these interesting days and adventures along with me. We are beginning to recover from today’s experience, and thankful that they didn’t get seriously lost. They were talking to me tonight, and now I know they did get scared and learned a good lesson. David’s orientation went well, too. 🙂

  5. What a scare for you. Praying you will sleep well and relax tonight. It sounds like you’re taught them to be quite resourceful.

    • They handled it well, but I would have preferred that they stay closer to home. 🙂 Thank you, Gracia, I think we will all sleep well. I hope you do, too. blessings to you, dear lady!

  6. Oh Shanda, that was quite the event for all of you. I hope the rest of your summer vacation is less adventurous. Hopefully they’ve learned their lesson and will stay closer to home from now on. I hope you get some rest and feel better soon.

  7. I love your blog, Shanda! So full of lovely big-family-goodness. What a story! I was laughing and imagining the terrible feeling you must have had in the pit of your stomach. What an adventure! Thanks for sharing with us!

  8. I remember numerous occasions as a child when I decided I wanted to ‘run away’. I even told my parents about it. I even remember one particular time when my Dad sat out on the porch reasoning with me as to why it would be a bad idea to ‘run away’. I didn’t understand what the big deal was. I had my stick with my little knapsack tied on the end (just like in all of the cartoons). I would sleep in the bushes and eat grass. It would be high adventure! What was the big deal? The dangers and pitfalls of my plan never occurred to me. As an adult, I can imagine what must have been running through my parents’ minds. No, I didn’t run away. 🙂 I did so many stupid and dangerous things as a child. I look back and just KNOW that God’s angels were protecting me. It’s humbling. I’m so glad that Caleb and Seth met these good people and that they are home safe…and my God’s angels continue to look after them through all of their childhood adventures. 🙂

    I hope Sarah is feeling better and that you are having a better day today. Thanks for sharing the pictures of the nature around your house. I always enjoy seeing them.

  9. Home probably never looked so good to them and their faces to you! At least they knew to ask for help. So glad they’re home!:) I’ve had many days like that too. I hope you can get to bed early tonite.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s