Sunday, January 6, 2008

Little Boy Lost

Long, long ago, and far, far away, there lived in the land..... no, no, no...... that's not right. I'm wanting to tell you a story of some time ago, true, but not *that* long ago. It was when we lived in Ankara, Turkey in the 70s. Our apartment was located on the third floor at the top of Nenehatun. From our balcony you could see all over Ankara. It made sitting out in the warm weather very enjoyable. It was also the main place for our two younger ones to play outside. The oldest one could go outside to play. It was also a place for Jim and me to relax in the evenings after the children were down, and the kitchen was done. No radio. No TV. There was no Air Force Base so we all lived *on the economy* with the Turkish people. This was our second time to live in Turkey, the first being in Izmir, in the mid 60s.

One evening before sundown one of us called for Bobby, the three year old, and received no answer. The children's beds, twin beds for the boys, and Debbie's crib, were all in one room so they could have a room just for playthings. We checked those rooms first. In their bedroom was Bobby's horse, and he often fell asleep while riding it. No. He was not on his horse, nor was he on his bed. From there to the play room. Easy to see he wasn't there, and thank goodness he had not worked his way out onto the balcony from that room even though it was locked with a large key. Scary thought!

Just off from the play room, then, we checked our bedroom. Nope. Easy to see no sign of him there. We continued on, calling his name as we went, tensions building within each of us because there just were no other places other than the kitchen, living area, extra room...... and the balcony. Surely he had not gone out on to the balcony without us. He was tall enough to climb on it; climb on it and fall! Holding our breath, we looked. No sign of Bobby! Whew!

Now what? Good friends lived just a street over, and maybe, just maybe he had gotten out and walked over to their house. Didn't sound likely to us, but in this situation, you go for every little bit. Jim walked over to their house, only to return moments later with Sue and Bill accompanying him.

As we stood around talking about what to do next (*this* mother almost frantic but not yet), some of our Turkish neighbors were inquisitive, and looked around the nearby area of our apartment building. Jimbo, our oldest, had had to stay inside the apartment to watch his baby sister Debbie, but here he was out on the balcony trying to get his dad's attention, being told to go back inside. Finally, I guess the young six year old voice was loud and strong enough to really sink into his dad's hearing, and he told him "Bobby's in here!"

That was probably the fastest I ever took those stairs.Iinside, we found a sleepy-eyed little boy, having no idea what all the fuss was about, only complaining with raspy voice that his legs hurt. His legs hurt because he had been sitting on the potty chair all of that time, and however long before we began the hunt. In fact, it was his legs going to sleep that had awakened him. So, I guess you could say he found himself.

So. Why did we miss him when we checked the house when that room had only their beds and Bobby's horse in it?
The training chair was not in use at the time. Debbie was coming of the age to begin training, and I had placed it there out of the way until that time..That's why no one had pulled the door open to look back there.

The End


In memory of Robert Sears "Bobby" Wages
October 31, 1967 - October 5, 1984
Killed at 16 in an automobile accident

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