Few things are as terrifying to a parent as not knowing where your child is. When you can't find them and you are searching and they are still nowhere around, it's just a heart stopping time until you find them.
Tonight, Emily wanted to practice riding her bike. She went outside and rode in circles for an hour. I took the dogs out for a walk and talked to her for a little bit while I was out there, then I came back in. Kerry and Ben arrived home about 30 minutes later. I asked them if they had seen Emily and they said no, so I went out to check on her. She knows she is not supposed to leave the immediate area of our back driveway without checking with us first so I wasn't worried. I figured she was just behind a tree or somewhere where I couldn't immediately see her. I walked down the street, calling her name every so often, and stopped by her best friend's house to see if she was there - although I was going to be aggravated if she was because she didn't let me know. No one was home, and by that time I was getting worried. She knows not to go off without telling me. I started back to the house got Kerry and we both set out in different directions, asking people along the way if they had seen her. I was torn between anger that she had gone off somewhere without checking in, and worry that someone had grabbed her. Finally, I called back to the house and told Ben to check all the rooms. There she was, in her very own room, minding her very own business, and completely unaware that she was missing. She had come back in when she was tired of biking, and no one had seen her.
I told her from now on to tell everyone "hello" when she comes home!