Friends of mine had a scary moment this summer! Spoiler… but it all worked out in the end. I wanted to share because during this little event, some things went right, and some things went wrong, and some things COULD have gone REALLY wrong.
Some friends of mine were at a local amusement park. They have a six-year-old son with Down Syndrome, Spencer who is fun and loves to run… LOVES to run.
They had just got done on a fun water ride, twice, Spencer loved it! But they needed to take a little break and went to get something to eat so they went away from the ride and on to the tables by the food carts. The parents who were there together went back and forth ordering, getting situated and picking up a food.
And then they realized that Spencer was gone.
It was one of those “Well I thought you had him!” and “But I thought you had him!” moments that all parents have had at one… hundred… times. But, being in a crowded place and with Spencer’s diagnosis this made for a very scary situation!
Immediately his mom went to the ride that they had just been on that he loved. They had asked around if anyone had seen a boy with down syndrome and while asking people in line some said no and then a few started saying yes! Turns out, he had pushed his way through the entire line. He pushed through, down onto the moving loading platform and onto a raft with another family.
The workers and people in law watched it happen and didn’t know what to do!
Thankfully, and gratefully, the family he hopped in with said that it was okay and he could stay on the raft with them but told the workers to make sure to make a call to security and figure out what to do when they get back to unload!
Security was called and everyone kind of ended up at the right place at the right time and Spencer was found and retrieved by his family.
What went wrong? What went right?
Do you get upset that the workers allowed a six year old with obvious special needs onto a ride without his family? Especially after pushing through a quite length line to get to the front? There are a lot of “what ifs” here, it was a water ride!
Knowing Spencer, I know that he loves to run from people and also, when he wants something he doesn’t let much stand in his way (like a line with a 100 people in it?) so stopping him would have been extremely difficult. We give the waiting patrons that! But why couldn’t an employee working on the ride take a couple minutes and accompany him on the ride to keep track of him. Were they staffed for it? If they were letting him on, alone, they should have been there to watch him to make sure he would be there to let off no?
Ultimately how wonderful that these people who didn’t know him volunteered to watch him through the ride with them. This is heartwarming to me, they don’t know him, they don’t know if he is going to jump out, how he will respond and react. But they were willing to watch him for a little while until things got straightened out. How great that they were nice people in general!
Pretty happy that things worked out as well as they did and nothing bad happened.
Phew! Thanks random strangers for going above and beyond!
Image courtesy of chrisroll at FreeDigitalPhotos.net