I called to him… “Zaccababy, come help mommy put away toys,” and he didn’t answer me with his usual “Tay, mama.” In fact, I heard nothing. Nothing at all. I turned around and he was, for lack of a more accurate or specific description, simply not there. I walked to the kitchen sink behind me and looked through the window above it into the living room. I didn’t see him there. I craned my neck down the somewhat narrow hallway toward our bedrooms, and I didn’t see him, or even hear his chubby feet slapping the wood floor. I didn’t hear him chattering at his “kee-cat.” I didn’t hear him drumming on the air conditioning vent with various utensils. I didn’t hear him opening and slamming the broom closet door with a “ZAH!” What I heard was deafening silence.
The moment you realize you cannot locate your child, the feeling of utter terror only slightly outweighs the feeling of complete failure. As I raced through the house, I tried to remain calm. Rationalizing… if he was hurt, I’d hear him cry, right? Wait, would I? Maybe I’d misunderstood Newman when he left a minute ago, and he’d taken the baby with him. How is he not right behind me playing with spoons like he was just a minute ago? And how will I ever explain this to my mother? None of these questions were finding me my baby.
Luckily I was at home and not at Wal-Mart (where the crazies go), and luckily my house is not that big. I found him an agonizingly long 2 minutes later– Sitting in my bed, staring contentedly at a re-run of Law and Order, munching on a taco shell. Seriously, Zac? Classic. The best part is, I didn’t give him the taco shell, nor did I realize we had any taco shells. Apparently, I keep them on the bottom shelf, next to the rice and macaroni. Who knew? Zac knew.