Never Out of Sight

Last week I experienced one of my greatest parenting fears. I am so grateful it only lasted for about three minutes, and that by the grace of God it ended well. Those few minutes were some of the longest of my life.

Aiden, five years old, and me. April 2014

Aiden, five years old, and me

My husband and I, along with a few members of our extended family, took the kids to Yosemite. We were walking the trail to Bridalveil Falls when nature called. I took Allen, our seven-year-old, to the restroom. The two of us were a few minutes behind everyone when we headed up the trail. We met up with the first half of the group, who said that everyone else was a little further. So we kept on walking and within a minute or two saw the others off the trail checking out the stream that flowed down from Bridalveil Falls.

I looked, looked again … and noticed that someone was missing.

“Where’s Aiden?” I asked.

“He’s back with the others.”

“I just saw them. He’s not with them.” It took half an instant for it to register and then my mind hit high alert. My husband headed back down the trail with my sister and nephew. My dad raced on ahead and I followed behind with Jessica and Allen, holding their hands tightly and trying to look everywhere at once.

My greatest fear was that Aiden had fallen in the water. He loves throwing rocks and sticks into the water to see the big splash.

Allen asked me a question. I have no idea what it was. “Allen, no one knows where your brother is. Please just pray,” I told him. Tears came to my eyes. No one knows where he is.

A minute later, I was near panic when we turned the last curve before the waterfall viewing area. My dad stood there with a smile on his face. Next to him stood Aiden, holding his hand.

I breathed again.

I ran up to Aiden and grabbed all 50 pounds of him into my arms. “Where were you?” I asked.

“I wanted to see the waterfall,” he replied in his most matter-of-fact voice.

My dad pointed out an older man who stood to the side. “He kept an eye on him until we found him.” I turned to the man. A simple “Thank you” can never convey exactly how deep my gratitude was, but it was all I managed to get out. My words seemed kind of choked up somewhere.

I don’t think I gave the waterfall a second glance, though Jessica and Allen went up with my dad to check it out. I walked back down the pathway, where my husband met us and ran back to let the others know Aiden was okay.

Aiden spotted the stream and clambered over some boulders to find stones that he could throw into the water. I kept tight hold of his hand.

I thought of what I told Allen a few minutes before, that no one knew where Aiden was. It wasn’t true. Someone had him in sight the whole time.


About Bonita Jewel

Bonita Jewel is an author and blogger who writes on a variety of themes, including: Literature & poetry Writing Parenting Purpose After living in India from the age of 16 to 28, she returned to California with her husband and three children. She is pursuing a Degree at Fresno State University. Bonita teaches community education at Clovis Adult. Her courses include Blogging Basics, Power Editing, Creative Writing, and Working from Home. She also freelances as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Her greatest passions are her family, her faith, writing, and reading. Bonita Jewel has been reading since she was 2 ½. Thirty years later, she still loves the magic and mystery of the written word. She is slowly breathing life into roughly 50 novels and nearly as many nonfiction works, depending on which plot or character seizes her interest at any given time. Please connect with Bonita at:

Posted on April 11, 2014, in Attributes, Parenting Fears, Paying attention and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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