LV's brother Melvin and his family left the Amish and joined a nearby Mennonite church. It was kind of nice to have his parents focus and fuss about them instead of being on our backs constantly to attend more youth singings and thinking I should join the other ladies when they went on their all day shopping sprees. I had loathed the pressure we felt to conform to all the nitty gritty things like that, that we really had no interest in what so ever and simply didn't do even though every one else did.
A few months after they had left the Amish we decided to hire a driver and go visit them for a day. LV's parents weren't too enthused about that and suggested that we at least leave Sailor and Rosebud with them while we go so that their young minds wouldn't be influenced in the harmful presence of being with their ex-Amish cousins.
We weren't too concerned about it but decided rather than go through more scrutiny to take them up on their offer.
We left early that morning and spent a very enjoyable day at Melvin's house. Around four that afternoon our driver came by to pick us up. He came to the door to make sure we knew he was there and then went out to his mini van to wait while we said our good-byes. The windows were all open and we heard his cell phone ring but didn't think anything about it until he came in acting all agitated. "LV's Mom just called," he said. "She thought we should know that the children had been playing in the sandbox nearly all day but someone just drove off with them."
The weird scream I heard apparently came from me as a horrible coldness pressed on me every where. I managed to drag myself to where I could sit and collapsed. This simply couldn't be true! Our little children had to be safe, we had left them with their Grandma. All manner of if only's were washing over me and I could hardly breathe.
The driver started laughing and said, "No, she just wanted us to know that they were going to the neighbors to help plant a garden and would drop the children off on their way home then. They just wanted us to know where they were so we wouldn't worry."
LV came and tried to get it to sink in that everything was okay. It wasn't until much later that he told me how that was the closest he ever came to hitting someone.
The harm had already been done though. After such a horrible shock I couldn't snap back that easy even though I was ever so relieved to know that the children were okay. It took days until I was back to feeling normal.
That evening when LV's parents stopped in to drop off the children I couldn't hug and hold them enough. They had their usual happy chatter about a fun filled day but all I could think of was that they were safe with me again and that I would never again leave them anywhere to have someone look after them unless absolutely necessary.