When it sucks to be six-going-on-seven

Monday, September 4

Immediately I know from the terror in the child’s scream that it is bad.

The crew and I are sitting in the Perfect Tow Vehicle at our campsite at Palisades Campground a few miles from Red Lodge, Montana.

My laptop is in my lap as I type out a blog post and arrange photos.  Reggie lies quietly in his doggie bed next to me and Roger stares out the passenger window, waiting for squirrel activity, I suppose.

A terrible scream pierces my concentration.

I toss everything aside.

That’s a child!

“Oh, dear God, the MOOSE!”

I jump out of the PTV, shutting the door on the alarmed crew.  I run up the lane toward the screams that emanate from the main campground.

Moose, bear, what is causing such terror? . . . .

The instant I round the bend in the road, a small boy runs toward me, still screaming in a panic, tears washing his cheeks.

“They le-eft me!  They’re GONE!” he wails.  “They dro-0ve off without me-e!”

The boy is somewhere between the ages of 5 and 7.  He clutches an empty water bottle, the kind hikers take on trails.

I attempt to calm him with a steady, relaxed tone.

“Oh, no wonder you’re scared.  Don’t worry, sweetie.  We’ll get this figured out.  Everything’s gonna’ be fine.”

The boy continues to sob, words breaking out in pieces.

“I was in …  in the bathroom … when I came out … they were… they were gone…”

“It’ll be okay.  It’ll be okay.”

I open my arms and he rushes into them.  After a brief hug, he backs away.

Not yet deciding what to do, I suggest we look again.

Together we walk into the main campground.  No one is there.  No vehicles.  No people. Just emptiness surrounded by woods.

I head toward our campsite and the boy walks with me.

No wonder he’s in a panic.  Should we wait for them to come back?  We need to do something!  Take action.  Sitting here waiting will be excruciating for this little guy. . ..

“Okay, here’s what we’re gonna’ do.  There’s only one way into this place, right?  If we go up that road, we won’t miss them coming back,” I explain.  “That way you’ll be with them sooner.”

I need to be careful not to promise something that might not happen . . . .

“C’mon, we’ll get this all figured out.  See my van?  Inside are my two little dogs, Reggie and Roger.  They’re both good dogs, wouldn’t hurt anybody, but they’re going to be excited to see you.  Roger especially likes to jump around.”

We arrive at the passenger door.

Reggie and Roger bark and jump at the window.

“I’ll go inside first and hold them back while you climb into the seat, okay?”

Soon we’re rolling out of the campground, across the bridge, up through the woods, and between the open, grassy fields on both sides of Palisades Road.

I expect to see a car racing toward us at any moment, carrying frantic parents inside.

“You see, this is the way you came in, right?”

“Yeah.”  He sniffles.

I ask him his name.  

He tells me his name is Cade and he lives in Billings.  (Billings is about 65 miles from where we are.)

I try to gain information from Cade in an easy, conversational way.  I want a clearer picture of the situation.  He explains that his mother, father, two brothers, one sister, and himself left Billings today for a ride to Red Lodge and they were going home afterward.

“It’s my mother’s birthday.  That’s why we came here.  She had her cake on September 3rd but her birthday is today.”

Surely we’ll see their car soon . . .

I glance over at Cade as we talk.  

Obviously  he’s well cared for.  He’s very clean and his brown hair has received a cut recently, probably for school.  His clothes are new or nearly new — a sleeveless top and shorts, good shoes.

I ask Cade his age.  

Conversation helps him be calm.

“I’m six-going-on seven,” he replies.  “I say six-going-on-seven because my birthday is in October.”

“Really?”  I turn to him and smile.  “My birthday’s in October, too!”

We exchange our dates.  Cade points out, with a six-going-on-seven’s understanding of important reference points, that his birthday is closer to Halloween than mine is.

After this interlude of conversation, Cade starts to break down again.

“I told them I was going to the bathroom,” he whimpers.

“Well, people make mistakes.  I’m just glad I was there to find you.”

“Yeah, because I’d be DEAD right now!” he blurts out.

Oh, the poor kid.  It sucks to be six-going-on-seven and left behind, alone.

“Cade, I need you to do something.  I don’t know what your car looks like.  I — ”

“It’s red!” he interjects.

“Well, I still wouldn’t recognize it.   I need you to watch for every car that comes our way.  That way we won’t miss them.  Could you do that job for me?”

By now we’ve passed the residential area on Palisades Road and are on West Fork Road.

Still no sign of Cade’s family.

This is strange.  We should’ve seen them by now.  How do two adults and three children not notice that a child is not with them?  Even if the parents are distracted, maybe having an argument or something, it seems like one of the kids would pipe up with “Hey! Where’s Cade?” or “Mom! Dad! Cade’s not with us!!!”

We reach where West Fork Road ends at Route 212.

Now we’re riding the two miles into Red Lodge.

“Cade, do you know your phone number?”

“I don’t know my mother’s phone number but I think I know my dad’s.”

He calls out the numbers.

“Okay, that’s good.  Here’s what we’re gonna’ do.  My phone doesn’t work, so when we get to town, I’ll stop at the gas station, go inside, and call your dad.”

Cade pipes up cheerfully, “And if you don’t get him, YOU can drive me to my house!”  He smiles at his idea.  “I can show you how to get there!”

I park the PTV at the Sinclair station.

The nose of the PTV points toward the road.  With pen and paper in hand, I ask Cade for his father’s phone number.

“Great. I need you to stay here with Reggie and Roger and I also need you to keep doing your job, okay?  Keep an eye on the cars that go by.  In the meantime I’ll go inside and call this number.”

Stepping down from the driver’s seat, I turn to Cade.

“What is your last name?”

“Lander.”

“Does you father have the same last name?”

“Yeah.”

Inside the store a young man, looking barely out of his teens, stands behind the counter. He rings up the purchases of the lone customer.

The customer leaves.

“I have a strange situation and I need your help,” I begin.  “I’m camping up at Palisades and this little boy — he’s out in my van — was left behind by his parents.  If I could borrow a phone, I’ll call them and . . . .”

“Sure.” He grabs his phone and I give him the slip of paper with the number.  He punches the numbers and hands me the phone.  “It’s ringing.”

It rings several times before a man answers.

“Is this Mr. Lander?”

“Yes.”

“Are you missing a child?”

“Yes.”

Pause.

What the heck?  Yes?  That’s it?  No inflection.  Not a trace of anguish, relief, the downward spiral from the natural panic of a parent who’s lost a child?  No “Where is he?’  No “How is he?”  No “Oh thank God!”  Oh well, maybe he’s the strong and silent type or he’s in shock.  

In the same flat tone he asks, “What’s your name?”

Huh?  What?  Does he think I’m calling for a ransom?

I give him my name and get down to business.

“We’re at the Sinclair station in Red Lodge.  Do you know where that is?”

“Yes.”

“How far out of town are you?”

“About ten minutes.”

“Cade and I will wait at the Sinclair station for you.  We’re in a white Chevy van.”

“Okay.”

“Okay, bye.”

I hand the phone to the young man listening from behind the counter.

“That was weird,” I say to myself.

“What?”

“I don’t know.  The guy didn’t sound right.  He didn’t seem very . . . interested.”

I hand over the phone with a thank you.

“Do you think he’ll show up?” the young man asks with concern.

“I certainly hope so!” I respond, pushing on the door to return to Cade.  “I certainly do hope so.”

To be continued . . .

rvsue

NOTE:  The names of the boy and his father used in this post are not their real names. I apologize for the cliffhanger.  The post was becoming too long.  — Sue

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125 Responses to When it sucks to be six-going-on-seven

  1. Mary in CO says:

    Waiting….

  2. Kristi (Nampa, ID) says:

    OK–I’m going to curl up in to a ball in the corner. That’s what happens when someone LEAVES ME HANGING!! 😀 Pin and needles, pins and needles.

  3. Needle in Plano says:

    CLiffhanger certainly

  4. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Wow, I am so glad you were there for that young boy. This is weird. I have a strange feeling from your description of this so far. I hope this turns out for the best or your gut feelings lead you to call local authorities as well.

  5. Calvin Rittenhouse says:

    Not interested? That’s really new and different. I was sure you could find Cade’s family, but that’s quite a twist. I look forward to learning more.

  6. Dawn in Mi says:

    Noooo…you can’t stop now!!!

  7. Marilu in Northern California camping along the American River says:

    Oh my goodness! What a strange situation. I’ve heard of that happening when families are traveling in two cars and folks assume someone is riding in the other vehicle. I’m so glad you were there, Sue.

  8. Rochelle in IN says:

    Good heavens! I don’t like the way this seems to be going. I’m going to join blogorino Rachel in praying.

  9. Diann in MT says:

    Again, Sue to the rescue! God Bless You, Girl!!!

  10. Susan in Phoenix says:

    A cliffhanger. A mystery.

  11. Marsha says:

    Poor kid. I remember almost getting left behind in Jackson Hole on a trip to Yellowstone. I was with cousins and my uncle didn’t know we got out of the truck. Fortunately he didn’t get too far before discovering we were missing. And we were a little older than your little boy.

    • Dawn in Mi says:

      I was almost left at a reststop out west somewhere when I was a young teen and I totally freaked out. Can’t imagine how horrible this was for yhis boy.

  12. weather says:

    Several possible reasons for the father’s reaction being what it was come to mind. Until you explain it and tell the rest of the story I’m going to hope for the best. For now, I’ll mention that little guy was fortunate you were the person that found and helped him. The wrong person in that situation could have caused an already bad scene to have become much worse. Gee, I hope your next post comes out soon!!!!!

  13. Linda Rose, Muffin, Molly & Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

    to be continued????oh my goodness, you are AWFUL!!!

  14. eliza in illinois says:

    My mom left our dog behind once when my brother was nine and I was six, when we had stopped off at a small store on the way back from visiting my mom’s aunt. We didn’t get too far before she realized he wasn’t in the car (she knew by the silence, not because either of us told her.) We drove back to the store we had been in and he was just sitting there, waiting for us. No one was harmed but none of us ever forgot it, either.

    • Crystal the T@B owner says:

      That’s what happened to our family dog before I was born. My sisters are much older, and the family was traveling to FL. Apparently they were a couple of hours down the road when one of my three sisters asked where Shadow was. That’s when they discovered he’d been left. I guess they all burst into tears, fearing the worst. Made a “U” and headed back. He was waiting by the door. This was many decades before cell phones.

  15. Renee from Idaho says:

    Im dumbfounded. Had it been my child or grandchild I would be going camp to camp asking everyone if they’d seen my child. Oh jeesh, who am I kidding, I did that with a dog i found a few weeks back! I eventually found tbe owner.

  16. Ugh! ! We are dyeing here! !!😃
    No more cliffhangers😃😃😃❗
    Please!!!!

  17. Pat from Mich. says:

    Sue! Cliffhangers should NOT be allowed!

  18. Pat from Mich. says:

    When my daughter was about 5, I took her and her older brother to a local ice cream store. I had an old van and the kids liked to sit way in the back. I was about 5 miles down the road when I discovered she was missing – because I asked her a question and she didn’t answer! Her brother never said a word. I broke a few speed limits getting back and she was sitting outside the store finishing her cone. She told me much later that she had been deciding where she would spend the night and had a tree picked out to sleep in!

  19. Joe Bruner says:

    OMG! I’m hanging on every word and praying for a happy ending. I love your crew, but you don’t need a new member right now.

  20. Tesaje says:

    When I was very small and we were 7 children, we accidentally left my brother behind in key west. Got a ways down the road when someone said where’s Randy? My mom did a quick head count and back we went. She found him wandering around the beach looking up at people. When he saw her he burst out crying.

    Wonder if they left him on purpose to teach him a lesson because he didn’t get out of the restroom fast enuf.

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      If that is what those parents were thinking that is very dangerous in this day and age. I pray that wasn’t their thinking or I fear what else they might dream up.

  21. Kat in WA & SoCal says:

    In 1968 my husband, his sister, our 2 year old son and I flew to Tehran where we were greeted by 20+ friends and family at the airport in a chaotic reunion and hustled into separate cars for the 40 minute trip to his mother’s home. I thought our son was with my husband, my husband thought he was with me, but when we arrived at his mother’s house, he was no where to be found! Fifteen long, panicky minutes later, he arrived – his grinning lips dripping with pistachio ice cream – holding the hand of an old friend who had decided our son needed an ice-cream treat and had stopped to get him one. My son didn’t speak or understand Farsi, but he never would turn down a chance to eat ice-cream — then or now!

    • Shelley in California says:

      No ice cream beats the ice cream in Iran! I went in 99 and dream about that ice cream.

      • Kat in WA & SoCal says:

        WOW Shelley – Iran in 1999??? If I wafted some Ghormeh Sabsee under your nose, would that make you forget Iranian ice-cream?? If not, Wholesome Choice in Irvine has some good Falludeh……lol

  22. Lea says:

    Ugh!!! Cliff Hangers….. 😔
    Please post tomorrow…. or sooner 😀
    So so worried now…. but it’s all over and done with since you are behind in real time. At least that’s what I keep telling myself!!! Everyone is fine and it’s all ok…….. no more cliff hangers…. please….
    Poor little guy! One of my grandsons is that age….. 😢

  23. Dawn in Asheville says:

    Oh SURE it was too long … you do know how to tell a story!!!! Wow, though, that doesn’t sound very promising that the father seemed unconcerned … shudders …

  24. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    She left us hanging like WHAT? No you didn’t just do that…..yep she did! I could understand ooops my jetpack is beeping so I have to go……be back later…or Reg and Rog want to go out for a walk.

    • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

      Hah hah……we will just sit here…staring at the screen…waiting for another post. Have a great day! Silly

  25. Lauri says:

    CLIFFHANGER indeed!!! I’m dying here!!!

    It does all sound strange!! I’m torn on the little boy being so trusting. I know it’s just RV Sue and the cuties, but he shouldn’t get in the car with ANYBODY!! At least we know he IS in good hands….. all TEN of them! hahahaha.

    Look forward to the next one…. on the edge of my seat!

  26. Karen in Pacific NW says:

    On road trips our group of 5 siblings would sometimes fight among themselves) and on occasion one or more of us did get put out onto the side of the road. Of course my parents never drove off so far that they were actually out of sight of us. What can I say we deserved what we got and I am still laughing about it.

  27. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Oh, this is awful!!!! How could that man be so indifferent????!!!!!!!!! Poor Cade, I am praying he has a happy home life.
    I can’t wait to see how this comes out!!!!!

  28. sandy and scott says:

    You need to write a book.

  29. LeeJ in Northern california says:

    That was just strange. But you are a hero! The perfect person to little Cade’s rescue.

  30. Michelle says:

    I am just befuddled by this. What on earth. Thank goodness you were there…

  31. Pat in Rochester says:

    !

  32. Sally in MI says:

    Are you kidding me? This is too serious to leave us hanging. I don’t care if this was ten pages long!!

  33. Glenda says:

    I can’t turn the page and read the next chapter. Bahhhhhjhjjhhhh Agggggghhh!

  34. Gloria in Prescott, Az. says:

    No such thing as a Blog that is too long. What a Brat is all I could say to my husband after reading this post. Good job Sue!

  35. Melanie (Mel) says:

    Wow what a story and how lucky that boy is that you were there we can’t wait to hear the rest!

  36. Nancy says:

    Please go to Dollar General or the equivalent and buy a $20.00 phone with minutes on it, so that you can call the Sheriff’s office in Billings to report this incident. This needs to be done whether the little boy’s dad comes to pick him up or not.

  37. Don in Alaska says:

    Dunno Sue…
    I would have called the cops *first* thing and reported the child as abandoned. This way you can’t be accused of kidnapping the child by a negligent parent.
    (Rule 1 – whoever get to the cops first, gets their story believed…)

    Ask for the authorities to send an officer and someone from Children’s Services. When they arrive, insist the child be taken to medical facility for an exam. Again, to ensure you are covered against any possible claims (and lawsuit) for abuse.

    I hate to sound so negative, and maybe my time working for the local school distinct has soured me on bad parents…those looking to cash in on anything….

    I’ll check in tomorrow to see who this saga ends.
    d

    • Mary in CO says:

      The way things are happening now, your response , unfortunatley, is probably the correct one. Let’s assume from the tone of the post that it was not?

      • Don in Alaska says:

        Mary –

        Sadly, in today’s world, you do have to worry about the parents AND the cops accusing you of something. Too many are hair-trigger to accuse someone of any number of horrors in order to cover up *their own negligence*….or worse.

        Sue is likely golden – but as a man, NO WAY would I do anything at all but call the local Volkspolizei.

        What a rotten world this has become, but it is what it is because of the creeps out there….

        I see where Sue has posted some short replies – I hope to see “the rest of the story” soon….

  38. Elizabeth in WA says:

    OH the poor kid…so glad you were there, Sue!! I HATE finding myself in weird situations like that!! My mom left me behind in a bathroom when I was about his age. And it was quite some time before she realized I was not there. In those days, my brother and I rode in the back of the station wagon, and she and Granny were up front. Granny virtually never came up for air and that is what made my mom forget me. (I also have never understood WHY my brother did not remind my mom???) I was upset, but I knew my aunt was at home at my house, so I called her and she got there about the time my mom came back. I think I went home with my aunt! But though my mom felt really bad about it…I do not think she really understood how much that upset me!! And that was in the day that MOST adults were trustworthy too…but that sense of being abandoned has never quite left me!! I suppose it never will. I so feel for this little boy!! Let me tell you, even with 3 kids, I NEVER left them someplace…NEVER!!

  39. Barb from Hoquiam says:

    Omg!

  40. Patti Tappel says:

    Don’t you know curiosity killed the cat! Hurry up!

    Safe travels, Patti

  41. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Lol. Apology-smallogy, cliffhanger is your MO😃

  42. Karyn Lee says:

    Lost my son when he was 3. We were tent camping with friends. I thought he was asleep in the tent so I went next door to socialize by the fire. Shortly after I left him snoring in the tent, he got up and went searching for me.
    He ended up in a whole different area next to our camping area. SUPER NICE people brought him over and asked if anyone knew him.
    Lucky for me for sure.
    I didn’t even know he woke up. Never let him out of my sight again. Don’t know how i would have reacted had I gone back to the tent and he wasn’t there. Very scary.

  43. OMG,😢 WHY DIDN’T YOU CALL THE COPS YOUNG LADY, FIRST????

  44. Ed says:

    George Carlin’s Views on Aging (misattributed but still so true)

    Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to Get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions.
    “How old are you?” “I’m four and a half!” You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key.

    You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.
    “How old are you?” “I’m gonna be 16!” You could be 13, but hey,you’re gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

    But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re Just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed? You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it,
    you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone. But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would!

    So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.
    You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT
    lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; “I Was JUST 92.” Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. “I’m 100 and a half!”

    May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

  45. Lucky Cade to have found you. Quite the disturbing interaction with the man on the phone, I’m glad you were at a public place to meet them.

    Cliff hangers are always exciting – can’t wait to find out what happens next!!

  46. A new crew member? 😎
    Seriously, not trying to take the situation lightly….but……
    So glad the little fellow had you Sue.

  47. Deena in Phoenix says:

    Knowing that you have delayed blogs, I am reassured that Cade and his family are together again…there could be a reason why the father was as he was…also knowing how you love the cliffhanger, I have learned to enjoy the moment and wait patiently for your next blog…wishing it appears tomorrow…take care Sue and Boys.

  48. HR Camper says:

    I agree that calling the police was the first thing I would have done. Then I would have stayed put in case his parents came back. But, I have the advantage of sitting in my RV thinking it out, not soothing a scared child.

    I know how easy it is to lose your child. Thirty five years ago we left our daughter at home alone when both my hubby and I thought the other had taken her. She was only 4! Only took us a few minutes to realize what happened and go back, but still scary. She never missed us though. Was too busy playing.

  49. JazzLoverWMa says:

    Something is not tracking right about the boy being left behind and the fathers reaction to your call. I know your first thought was to get them reunited as quickly as possible, but having worked for a PD for 17 years I have to agree with Don and Rusty, you should have called the cops first. There may be more to this than meets the eye at first glance.

  50. I would have called the cops first…don’t know the situation and better let the law handle it. I hear horror stories about young kids being kidnaped at a young age. I’d be suspicious why a kid was left behind and call the cop right away. BTW a cop showed up at my house and asked ‘Is Cheryl here?’ I said no, she’s traveling today. Is anything wrong (starting to panic)? Well, she left her wallet at the gas station with her ID and cards so the local police called us here in Phoenix to get in touch with her. I thank the cop and tell him I’ll call Cheryl right now and let her know. I did call my daughter and she hadn’t realize yet that she didn’t have her wallet. BTW bloggerinos…the cliff hangers are made to make us tune back in….a sort of carrot at end of stick…but then you know this already 🙂

    • Ben says:

      Yeah, this^ The desire to help was admirable but driving off from a campground in creeper white van and a little kid the just appeared? Bad idea. Should have left him at the campsite, driven into town and made the call.

      • Jolene/Iowa says:

        There is no way that I would have left a distraught child alone and drive off again. I agree my first thought would be to call local law enforcement. I think it goes further that even if it is just a cheap phone to always make sure Sue has a working phone for emergencies if possible. Sometimes you do the best you can at the moment and I know Sue did what she thought was best at the time.

        • Mush says:

          Jolene,
          Totally agree. The mom/grandma in me could have never left a young child that was already terrified. We can all conjecture on what we would have done, but realistically Sue did what her gut told her to do (as usual). I’m sure it all turns out fine, but I’m kicking myself for reading emails today because I usually don’t get Sue’s cliffhangers as I’m usually a few days behind😜

  51. Li says:

    Well that’s not something you run into every day! Thank heavens you were around.
    Poor guy. RV Sue and her Rescue Crew!

  52. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Oh, dear God! I hope there is a reason for the Dad’s tone of indifference….maybe leaving the kid behind to “teach him a lesson….”

    I am very thankful that you were there to help the boy. There are too many folks who would ignore the situation, or worse yet, cause the child harm. You were his guardian angel.

    Sue, I hope you and the zoom-zoom brothers are camped in a quiet, enjoyable site. Sending you, Reggie, and Roger love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    After taking a 10-day stay-at-home vacation, it is back to work tomorrow. It has been very enjoyable and relaxing to be away from the stresses of work. 🙂

  53. Gal and a cat in Fl says:

    Agree with some others. Call cops first. It’s amazing how things can be turned around on you picking up another persons child. While I do understand why you did it, I don’t trust other people. Please get a tracfone @ dollar general or family dollar! Cheap and I traveled all over the country with one and it works nearly anywhere. We blogerinos worry and care about you. My heart aches for that little boy.

    • Ed says:

      “Cheap and I traveled all over the country with one and it works nearly anywhere.”

      I agree that a Tracfone is cheap. I disagree that it works nearly anywhere. I try to use mine very, very seldom but my experience has been that I get a signal about 1/2 the time. However, I am usually some distance from any larger urban area. They probably work nearly anywhere within more populated areas.

      I also have a comment about calling the cops ‘first’ if possible. When seconds count the police are just minutes away. I think Sue did good!

      • Gal and a cat in Fl says:

        The only place it didn’t work was in a few very deep canyons. I have a better LG phone and tracfone works on all tower signals. It sure beats nothing. I was pretty amazed how well it worked and I was rarely out of sight of some tower even way out in nowhere.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m glad you’ve had good experience with the cheap phones. A few years ago I tried Tracfone and Gofone and both were useless when traveling in Wyoming. They sit in my “junk drawer.”

          As for calling the cops, judging from the people I saw driving up out of the campground area in order to make calls, cell phones don’t work at the campground. I would’ve had to drive for a signal anyway and that meant bringing Cade as I would not leave him alone in the deserted campground.

    • Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in NJ says:

      Hi gal and cat. I hope you made it through Irma’s visit OK and are doing well.

  54. Linda Sand (Minnesota) says:

    I’m going to go with the positive and think the father was probably barely holding it together and couldn’t talk without falling apart.

    My parents left me at the St Louis Zoo. Two families of five each traveling in a nine passenger station wagon. We stopped at a bathroom before starting the long drive home. Mom counted noses and everyone was there so it was time to leave. But I was looking the other way, watching some kids play. I don’t know how long they were gone before I missed them but it sure seemed like forever before Dad came back.

  55. Jan Johnson says:

    Now this is a really cruel cliff hanger! How am I supposed to sleep tonight?! Poor little guy – what a strange and terrible situation! Please do part 2 quickly!

  56. Beth says:

    OMG! I am crying just remembering being left at a gas station in the desert when I wasn’t much older than Cade, also because I was in the bathroom. Here I am a grandmother and it still gets to me. I am still thankful for the kind couple who stayed with me until my family returned. To this day they all think it’s funny, it’s not. I’m so glad you were there for him but can’t believe you left us hanging! Argh!

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Thanks for sharing this Beth…I see I am not alone. My family all thought it funny too…but it was NOT!!

  57. MB from VA says:

    I know “Cade” is OK because he has you and the crew as his guardian angels….as well as several others not as easily seen, I’ll bet. But…..I can’t wait to hear what happened.

    The father not being frantic or even angry is very strange. And as for siblings not saying anything about “Cade” not being there….I taught Kindergarten for years and you have no idea how many times I had children stop for water on the way down the hall…..miss the bus…..on which they had at least one sibling……and no one said a thing! When parents came to register their child and I saw a brother or sister, I would tell them that it was their job as the older sibling to make sure their sister/brother was ON THE BUS! 😉

    Poor little boy. I am so glad you were there for him………….

  58. Gene in Ohio says:

    I wonder if dad was stoned?

  59. ApplegirlNY says:

    TO BE CONTINUED???? You’re killing us.

    Well, I’m hoping that dad was just in shock, or trying to stay calm because of a hysterical mom. We’ll know soon, but not soon enough. Poor Cade.

  60. Mugs says:

    Totally agree with those who thought Sue did the right thing. He’s a young boy and the quicker he is back with his family – the better.
    This post was written on the 4th – posted on the 11th – so the ‘cliffhanger’ is not as much of a ‘cliffhanger’ if it all would have happened on the same day. There must be a good ending and will be anticipating a nice outcome.
    Thanks for ‘being there and responding’ Sue!

  61. Tamara says:

    The poor baby!

  62. Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

    Thank you Sue for responding to Cade with such calm and loving care. He needed that! I can’t wait to hear the outcome!
    We are BLESSED! We survived Hurricane Irma with nary a scratch! We have had worse thunderstorms! The panhandle was spared devastation! We lost power Sunday night, by 3pm Monday power was restored, thank you Duke Energy! Took longer with MediaCom. No TV or WiFi until this morning! The only thing I lost were my sunflowers! Wind was gusty at times making all the trees around here dance to Irma’s tune but nothing severe! We are grateful, we are blessed!

  63. Virginia Henkaline says:

    Like everyone else I am on pins and needles waiting for the rest of your story….but being 87 I am still laughing over Ed’s post about aging…cause it is so right!

  64. SecondLife says:

    Sue,

    You are an angel from above. I just simply can’t wait until the next post. It is indeed very strange that someone would leave the child without realizing it immediately. Please hurry with your next post. I am on pins and needles.

  65. Sarvi in OR says:

    I also was left as a child. I was with my grandma and several cousins at the grocery store, and I got left in the child seat of the grocery cart. I wasn’t older than 2 or 3. I remember it, but don’t remember being scared or anything. It wasn’t too long before she came back for me.

  66. Terri in Texas says:

    Hey Rv Sue
    If we all buy something in the next 5 minutes will you post the ending SOON? 🙂
    I dont know what I would have done! Cops take so long to respond these days and that kid was scared! I know when I was a library manager parents would just leave their kids there all the time. When closing time came I had to call the parents and sometimes threaten them with the police if they didnt come get their kid! Anyway sometimes you have to make a snap decision. I am sure everything turned out ok! Take care!

  67. Karen LeMoine says:

    Sue I’ve got butterflies in my stomach! Personally I would have called the local PD. That would take any potential liability off myself. Can’t be to careful these days. But I’m glad he’s safe in your care. Poor kid. Hope he comes from a loving family. In the meantime the crew will make him smile and feel secure! Sue the rescuer of dogs and kids!

  68. Linda in Manito Illinois says:

    Going ONLY by the father’s reaction, or lack thereof….maybe the police should be brought in on this. They are trained to ask the right questions before just sending the child off. Maybe I’m too cautious…but maybe not.

  69. Crystal the T@B owner says:

    Leaving kids apparently is not uncommon from reading all the stories of babies/toddlers left in car seats and dying from heat. So very, very sad. These parents have to live with that the rest of their lives. I can’t imagine.

  70. Shelley in California says:

    I am on the edge of my seat!! Sue you are the perfect person for this situation…calm, not given to hysteria and knew just what that little guy needed, thank god you were there for him, I hope his situation with his family is better than it appears.

    When my kids were young I had a birthday party at a skating rink and a mom didn’t show up, I called her and she said ‘well I am having an HOA meeting at my house’ like that was a valid reason for forgetting her kid, I got her address and drove the girl home, the mom was not apologetic at all! Felt bad for the girl that she meant less to her mom than a stupid meeting.

  71. Janet Johns says:

    I’m a retired school librarian. I always started a book talk on the book “Homecoming” by Cynthia Voigt with the story of how my parents left me behind at church. No one missed me for two hours! That would frequently lead to stories of being left behind. One child got left behind in a port on a cruise. That was the worst case I heard. It was astonishing how frequently a child got left behind.

    • mostlylost says:

      I grew up Catholic and our Deacon accidentally left one of his kids behind at the church after service one day. Another family took the kid home, but I don’t think him and his wife ever lived it down!

  72. JazzDad says:

    I’m going to jump on a jet to cross the international date line so I can view part 2 of this story all the sooner!

  73. Cynthia from San Clemente says:

    I just know this turns out ok and there is a good reason the father sounded wierd – Sue wouldn’t leave us hanging like this if it is a bad ending.

    My husband’s mom made him get out of the car and left him on the side of the road when he was 6, after he talked back to her once too often. She circled the block and came back a few minutes later to find him, crying hysterically. This was 1950. He says he never sassed her again. You couldn’t do that now … it just wouldn’t be safe.

    Having said that … I am so proud of Sue for stopping to help this kid and put him in her car. You always wonder if parents are going to accuse YOU of being the bad guy if you stop to help a child.

  74. Cat Lady back home in Central City, La says:

    Leave the child alone in the woods to go get the cops!!!!??? Seriously? N. O. W.A. Y.
    Why do you want the dad to get all hysterical about the kid getting left behind? That’s not good and doesn’t help the situation at all. Sue did exactly what she should have done. Good, Lord! If the parents tried to pull a fast one on Sue, the police have a way of asking questions and solving cases that would prove Sue did nothing wrong. The parents have the burden of proof that Sue harmed their child. The cops would say, “Miss Sue abused the child? How did she come to have the child in the first place and where were you?”. No matter how much you try to do right by your kids, crap can happen. This may well be one of those cases. If the kid looks well fed; is neat and clean as much as little boys can be; and is not reluctant to contact his parents, I’d say things are probably alright at home for the kid. On the other hand, if I saw bruises or other signs of abuse … THEN I’d take the child directly to the local PD. Why traumatize the kid needlessly?

  75. eliza in illinois says:

    I think the Dad was keeping his voice neutral so as not to alert his wife, who will then murder him.

  76. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    We’re talking rural Red Lodge Montana….(where folks probably don’t lock their doors, leave the keys in the ignition, kids play outside without supervision and everyone knows each other) USA.

    An entire different type of lifestyle and beliefs. Honor system veggie stands and agreements secured by a handshake.

    We’re not talking Compton CA…

    • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

      The town of Red Lodge, Montana employs 7 full time police officers.
      Why? Because in year 2015 there were no murders, no rapes, no robberies, 4 assaults, 7 burglaries, 47 thefts and 1 auto theft! That’s in the entire year?

      I did ALL that on one 12 hour shift! We’re talking about Barney Fife kind of place!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        🙂

        New post coming up in just a minute! Love all your comments, blogorinos!

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        You bring some good comparisons to the discussion, Cin…thanks. There is danger even in safe places however, in summer at least when travel is easy…as crazies travel everywhere. I would have been hysterical if I was that mom, frankly!! She was so fortunate it was Sue who happened to be closeby!!

  77. Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in NJ says:

    OOOOOOOH, You Stinker! To be Continued Indeed.

    I am certainly glad for Cade that you were there. Your cool head and careful thinking saved the day. (music plays, “Here she comes to save the day…!”) Your teacher training and experience kicked in to give a clear assessment of the situation. But Hey, HURRY UP and POST Part two. I’m inclined to come get Cade myself. I hope his Dad is OK with dog hair and sloppy kisses because I am sure the crew was giving him lots of puppy loving while you were on the phone.

    P.S. My new trailer was delivered Monday, Hip Hip Hooray! She’s a beauty!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations on the new trailer, Lisa!

      I’m confused about “hurry up and post Part two.” I posted Part 2 yesterday. Maybe you need to refresh your page or look in the sidebar for “The conclusion of the story of the boy left behind.”

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