Summer vacation is here and with it are long days of playing outside until it gets dark for Alyssa anyway. We live in a very quiet condo complex that is surrounded by pine trees, weeping willows, flowering pears, and boulders, a very nice place for kids to play. Three days ago Alyssa went out to play with the boy on the first floor, he's a few years older than Alyssa and his father is a retired Southington cop.
I was on my way home from work and my wife called me and said to drive around the complex and tell Alyssa to come home for dinner. So, I drive around once, then twice (the complex is horseshoe shaped and we live right in the middle) and don't see her anywhere but found her scooter is a neighbors parking spot (that gets me mad, she's been told before not to do that). Figuring that they went to the boys house to play Wii I texted his father, who informed me that they were not there. He then called his son and asked where they were and said they were on the street behind the dumpsters.
Let me explain that, there is a line of trees about 15' deep behind the dumpsters and then a cul-de-sac with houses. They cut through and were playing with kids in that neighborhood. But, to drive there is a much longer way, so, I set off in the car getting mad that she left the complex without informing anyone. Her playing there was no issue but we didn't know where to find her if we needed her. So, I did yell at her a little when I pulled up and found her but then realized something. We were never where my mother thought we were and if she actually ever came looking for us, she would probably never find us either (no cell phones in late 80's). Sometimes we'd be at a friends house or at the pond, but sometimes we'd walk to the Middle School and play at Falcon Field or walk down to the flood plains and play on abandoned train tracks or cut through the trees at the end of our dead end road and go to Stonycrest or one time walked all the way down to Amity (a good distance if you drive but close if you walk and cut through yards).
So, I guess I couldn't get that mad and now I have the phone number of the kid she plays with and she'll be getting her own pre-paid cell phone so we can call her to come home or to see where she is. Not a real phone to text and stuff on, it has just about $20 dollars on it and has her emergency numbers stored in it and she'll only have it when she goes out.
Kids like to explore and you're not gonna stop them but at least now you can keep tabs on them.