The neighbor's house is behind ours and one to the left. When Emily comes home, it's usually very dark, so I tell her to always call and I will walk out back and meet her. It's only a few yards, but there have been several break-ins in our neighborhood, and one sexual assault, so I'm not taking any chances.
I stayed up late, waiting for Emily to call. Around 12:30 she called to let me know that the mom had called to say she would be home around 1:00 a.m. I told Emily I was going to lay down, but to still call and wake me up so I could meet her out back.
I went to bed, with both the house phone and the cell phone on the bedside table. I did not wake up until my cell phone made it's "You Have A Text Message" sound at 4:45 a.m.
It was a text from Emily saying, "Do you think something happened to her?"
I called Emily back to confirm that the mom had not come home and that I wasn't dreaming. I asked Emily to check and see if maybe she had come home and gone to bed. Emily said, "Her bedroom door is open so I've already checked; there's no one in there." She and I both tried calling the mom's cell phone, but it went straight to voice mail.
I debated going over to sit with Emily, but Kerry and Ben were leaving for a camping trip, and I didn't want to leave Katie home alone, and I really didn't want to wake her up and make her go to the neighbor's house with me.
I told Emily to just sit tight while Kerry and I brainstormed. Our first thought was that she'd been in an accident. But wouldn't the emergency staff be answering her phone? Wouldn't they have already determined where she lived and be notifying her family? We debated the possibility of calling around to emergency rooms to see if possibly she was there.
The problem with this idea is that Hawaii has a really bad law in place (in my opinion). If one spouse is deployed, and something happens to the remaining spouse, the children can not stay with friends or neighbors until the deployed spouse returns unless it's in writing and notarized. The state takes the kids and puts them in the foster care system (because that's so much better than staying with people the kids know and are comfortable with - *snort*).
So we were afraid to possibly draw the authorities into the situation until we had more info.
We debated the possibility that she had gone to a friend's house and fell asleep on the sofa while watching a movie.
We discussed the idea that maybe she was having an affair and fell asleep. (We don't know her that well.)
I finally realized that if she was having an affair, she'd need a babysitter WAY more than once every two or three weeks.
I decided to call Emily again and see if maybe they had a list of phone numbers somewhere and maybe we could call some friends or family to see if they knew where she might be.
I called Emily's cell phone, but it went to voice mail. I called their house, but it was forwarded to the mom's cell phone which was already not being answered.
Then I panicked with the thought that maybe the mom had been kidnapped, and the kidnappers had just forced her to drive back home and now they were all there in the house.
I ran over to their house and rang the doorbell and knocked and knocked and knocked.
I ran around to the back door, and hammered the heck out of it while yelling Emily's name. Kerry called on my cell phone at that moment and I was about to tell him to run over there too when suddenly the door opened, and there stood the mom.
I nearly collapsed into a puddle.
"I'm so sorry!" And she really looked sorry too. I could tell she was horrified by what had happened.
Apparently, she had come home at 1:00 as promised. Emily was asleep on the sofa so she decided to just quickly check on the kids before waking up Emily and sending her home. When she walked into her son's room he woke up and saw her, so she lay down with him to get him back to sleep.
But she fell asleep too.
When Emily checked to see if the mom had come home, she skipped the little boy's room because he is such a light sleeper. He had woken up a couple of times earlier, and Emily didn't want to risk waking him up again.
I walked Emily home, and we both collapsed into bed and slept until lunchtime.
But all is well and we have a whole new set of rules and ideas about babysitting!