‘I shouted his name but the security was not allowed to do so because he frightened the guests’

It’s been eight years now, but just thinking about it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Luis was lost on the beach in Curaçao. He was three years old and it took about forty minutes to find him again.

Your child is your most valuable asset, how much can you talk about possessions, but you know what I mean. Your baby is the most vulnerable, vulnerable and sensitive place. From the moment you have such a small child in your arms, you feel in everything you protect or protect with your life. I won’t be playing in front of my judge anytime soon, but everyone who touches my kids has a problem. I think many parents are aware of this feeling, you don’t have to think about something that happens to them.

I followed with horror the news about Gino, the boy who went to play soccer and never came back. It broke my mother’s heart. Just like kids who went with ex-partners and stayed away forever, whether they were kidnapped overseas or killed. The child should only be able to play outside and in fact the child should always be safe with mom or dad. This does not make me sad. Why are there people who want to harm an innocent child?

My panic lasted forty minutes at the time and I still remember that feeling. ED and fear my heart palpitations. I honestly don’t want to know what parents go through with kids who never come back.

We were at Lions Dive in Curacao. A familiar place to us, we used to come to it regularly. It was my birthday and we celebrated with our family on the beach that afternoon. I remember exactly how it went. I was breastfeeding Miles and Lewis was behind me playing on the sand, and my ex was having a drink or something. Lewis followed him, but flew around the bar on the other side. When my ex came back and Louis wasn’t with him, I wasn’t in all states right away. So I think the panic about the disappearance of a child like this continues in stages. At first I thought Lewis would appear again, that was the first minute. Then, with Miles on my arm, I walked around that bar. The former walked the other way, but Lewis was already gone.

Anyone who knows Lions Dive knows there’s a part of the beach you can swim in, but to the left there’s a harbor with boats, it’s deep there right away.

What is he wearing?

My ex-boyfriend was part of the Volunteer Rescue Brigade at sea, and when we couldn’t find Lewis anymore, he immediately went to that port to check if Lewis was over between the boats. Until then I wasn’t worried, I just expected to see his face among the beachgoers at any moment and it wasn’t that busy. When I didn’t find him on the beach, I doubted my ex-boyfriend would have found him on the other side. The child must be somewhere. But every time we met each other in the middle without Louis. About ten minutes passed by that time.

The panic started when others started to help us. Other beachgoers were called, people from the bar up to security.

“What is he wearing?” They all asked me. Yellow shirt with pizza on it. There was a lot to say, but he was probably the only one wearing a shirt like that. That was an advantage.

It felt so surreal to see and hear everyone looking for my baby. It was like a bad movie and he didn’t really sink into it. The fact that my ex-boyfriend stayed near that harbor–knowing the survival of the drowning–made me uncomfortable. It wouldn’t be… Meanwhile I kept walking around with Miles on my arm, looking through everything. Pools, hotel lobby, beach, along the waves, people looking in the water with a snorkel, we searched everywhere. Then we were about twenty-five minutes away. It’s only twenty-five minutes, but in such a case, every minute feels like an hour.

Half an hour later I noticed that I couldn’t control myself anymore. I shouted his name, but the security was not allowed to do so because it scared the guests. At that moment I could punch him in the face, so what did these guys care about me? I wanted my baby back, alive and well. I can tell you that the scenarios running through your mind at such a moment are all evil in nature. A three-year-old, he had already lost half an hour on the beach … The sweat of fear was on my back.

It took forty minutes, but it felt like I was walking past a security guy who received a message on his walkie-talkie. There was a boy watching the buses in front of the hotel. Yellow shirt with pizza on it. Holy damn, bloody annoying bus stage Lewis… I could have come up with that myself.

Anyway, he came with the security guy who found him. Dozens of people sighed (some even clapped) when we were reunited. There was nothing wrong with him. He told me he wanted to take the bus. I can already imagine how he got on the bus with the tourists and ended up at Hato Airport alone. I just haven’t had an attack of madness yet.

all’s well That ends well. Lewis sat at another table because he was angry that he was not allowed on the bus and I was ten years old on my birthday.

It had been forty minutes of worrying, but I got my baby back safe and sound. I don’t want to think that things would have gone differently and I’m convinced that I’m getting a lot sharper. I still find it – even though they are now eight and eleven – a bit exciting to let them out, when in principle it does not make sense and you should dare to give up your children. When they’re on the go with my parents or sisters, I always text if they’ve arrived and make clear agreements about where they’re going to play. I give my kids the freedom to play outside and I think that’s important. What is greatest is my sympathy for the parents who let their children go with all good intentions…

She is a special secondary education consultant, author at De Fontein Publishing and is the mother of two sons, ages 10 and 8, who has recently divorced and is expecting a daughter with her new boyfriend. So nothing boring about it. That’s why we’d like to introduce you to our new columnist: Elaine Rink.

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