The time my son went missing

I just read on about a boy who went missing in 1955. It seems he’s just turned up.

His mother had parked her kids outside a bakery. After she paid for her cinnamon rolls she discovered an empty stroller. Her 2-year-old son and infant daughter were missing.

The baby was found a couple blocks away. I imagine the fruitless search for her son destroyed her. She must have had the worst kind of guilt.

When we see a parent looking for her child, my husband’s eyes well up. He’s been there once with each of ours, and the emotion of it comes right back to him.

I used to work nights at the newspaper in Boulder. One night we put the paper to bed before last call. A gang of us went across the street to Old Chicago.

For some reason I had Uncle Jer’s cell phone. It was one of two times I had it, and he was the only cell-phone owner I knew. By coincidence, the second time will be in the story of when my daughter went missing.

I had barely taken a sip of my Guinness when my husband called. Our 4-year-old wasn’t in his bed, or anywhere else my husband could see.

Then he made a confession. He had gone against my wishes and opened my son’s window to cool the room.

I was uptight about open windows in the kids’ rooms, or anywhere in the house if we were sleeping. JonBenet had just been abducted in December, a couple of Hop stops from our house.

I abandoned my beer and my friends. I could barely get my bike unlocked. My hands started shaking when I realized my husband wouldn’t have called until he had been looking a long time. He would have been sure the child was gone before scaring me.

Ultimately we found him. He had snuggled under the overhang on the foot of his bed, and was curtained in by his bedspread.

Having never slept near an open window before, he wasn’t used to the breeze.

That ended one of the worst hours of my life. I can’t figure how the Damman parents lived with that feeling for 54 years.

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4 Responses to “The time my son went missing”

  1. T. Says:

    There’s been an update on
    DNA indicates he his not Steven Damman.

  2. gunky Says:

    stories like the danman family keep me from watching the news at all!

  3. roberto Says:

    Did I send you the link to this article called “Stop Worrying About Your Children” by the author of “Free Range Kids”?

  4. The time my daughter went missing « Stories O' Mine Says:

    […] kept close to my purse at Kevin’s. This was before caller ID and cellular voicemail. This is one of two times I had had Jer’s […]

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