In the news: a family who had been holidaying in Dubai mistakenly left his 5-year old son at the back of a Dubai taxi as they rushed for their flight back home. The boy was said to be sleeping in the taxi at that time.
“They were in a hurry to catch the flight and didn’t realise the boy was missing. They were too busy picking up their bags from the car and getting into the terminal to notice he wasn’t there,” head of the criminal investigation department at Dubai Police General Al Mansouri said.
After two hours, the boy was reunited with his parents. It was reported that the taxi driver didn’t even realize there was a child sleeping at the back.
I know it’s very quick to judge – how come they forgot their own child? Scene from the movie Home Alone comes to mind. It happened in the movies, it happens in real life.
In fact, it happened to my family!
We are a family of 8 – my parents and six children (I am the eldest). We just finished hearing the mass and on our way home, waiting for a jeepney. My mom was carrying our youngest, only a few months old baby girl. I was holding two of my brothers and my father, watching the other two little boys. The jeepney came and all of us boarded, sat down and the vehicle went off.
A few minutes into the trip, my father did a mental headcount and realized…one of his children was NOT THERE!! My youngest brother was missing! My father immediately asked the driver to stop and he ran to cross the road to board another jeepney to go back to where we left. My mother was already very agitated. The boy we left behind was only three years old!
This was the time when there were no cellphones so all we could do was gruelingly wait. We all arrived home and waited for more than one hour to see my father at the gate with my little brother in his arms! I could not forget the joy everyone felt when we saw he was safe and sound!! My father said my brother was still in the same spot where we left him, looking at the magazines on display.
This story could have a much worse ending but we were lucky. It has since become a joke like, “this happens when you have too many kids!”.