Picture this……..I am unexpectedly pregnant for the fourth time. My mom has flown to Germany to help with the kids and my due date has passed. I needed a distraction for everyone. Neuschwanstein!
I mean, who can go to Germany and not go see the castle that Disney used as a model for Cinderella? We drive to the castle, park the car in the lot, and go to buy tickets.
They are sold out!
We need an alternative! Hohenschwanngau, the castle next door, (you know, as next door as castles can be) has tickets available. I buy them.
We begin the long ascent to the castle.
We pass by the trinket and food shops, wander through the trees, and end up at the top of the mountain in the middle of the courtyard.
We tour the German castle. The kids are amazed.
There are gorgeous rooms for the adults, intricate clothes and jewelry for the girls, and armor for the boys. We finish the tour and exit back where we started.
My oldest, 12, asks to go into the gift shop to buy a model knight. I tell him to go ahead and show him the bench where we will wait for him.
I watch him enter the shop. I sit down on the bench with my mother and the rest of the kids. I can see the door to the shop from where I am.
My mom takes the other kids to the restroom. I stay on the bench. It’s been 20 minutes.
I think about how that sweet boy of mine really contemplates his purchases as I remain on the bench. Thirty minutes pass. The family is all sitting on the bench, getting fidgety. I go check on him.
HE IS NOT IN THE GIFT SHOP!
My adrenaline goes into overdrive. I tell my mother that he isn’t there. We all look around the store and the courtyard, knowing there is no way he could enter the castle again without a ticket.
I see a police officer. I waddle over and tell him about the situation in some German/some English, showing him pictures.
He begins contacting the other policemen in the area. I am beside myself.
I leave my mother with the kids on the bench and begin walking down the trail calling my son’s name.
People are staring at me.
An overly pregnant, distressed woman walking down the mountain as fast as she possibly can, yelling at the top of her lungs.
I check the stores on the way down asking the sales people if they have seen him. No. I have walked to the end of the trail.
I am FREAKING OUT!
I decide to walk to the car because it is the last place he could possibly be. There he is, sitting on the bumper, drinking a Coke, knight figurine in hand!
I wanted to kill him but I’m so glad he is safe that I hug him. Then I begin asking him what he was thinking. He replies,
‘I couldn’t find you and I knew you’d end up at the car, so I walked down. I got thirsty on the way, so I bought a coke.’
Needless to say, that figurine is called “The Knight of the Lost”.
I gained some gray hair that day and realized how we inadvertently pass on our problem solving skills to our kids.
Never underestimate the logic of an Army Brat!
P.S. That kid is now a LT in the Army!
*Editor’s Note: We are grateful for Laura’s son, David, who put those “Land Nav. Skills” to good use serving our nation- HOOAH! To read more of Laura’s work, check out her M:M Author Page.