Mother's column – where is Reinout?


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Photo Unsplash, Zeynep Sümer

Reinout is gone. Actually, he is often out and about, but we usually find him again quickly. Most of the time we find him riding his balance bike on a self-made track across the car park. Or he has gone to the nearby playground. Or he is quietly playing with his Lego in the attic.

But this time is different. Reinout spent some time messing around in the backyard this afternoon, but when I think about it, it's been quite a long time since I've seen him.

A bit worried, I make my rounds in the neighbourhood. No Reinout. A slightly larger circle. Still no Reinout. I double-check all the rooms in the house, search under the beds, in the cupboards, and behind curtains. I go outside again and take another look under the trampoline. Jan decides to go for a bike ride as well.

Maybe someone has found him already and called the police, I think. I can inquire, no doubt. "When did you last see him?" the policewoman on the line asks. "More than an hour ago? Then let me connect you to the control room." The dispatcher asks for a description. "But haven't you had a call from someone who found him?" I ask. "No. So we are going to look for him now."

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).

A helicopter circles growling over the village. "Police are looking for Reinout, three years old. Blonde hair, blue eyes, light blue denim blouse, short blue-blocked shorts. Any tips? Call 112 now," reports Burgernet, the Dutch app on which urgent safety issues are announced. Concerned villagers jump on their bikes to join the search. "O Lord, be with him," I whisper. "Bring him home safely!"

Jan is back again. Without Reinout. The police find a stuffed monkey by the pond. Fortunately, not ours. I don't want to think about ponds at all. Reinout loves water.

"Found him!" Jan suddenly shouts. Thank God! "He was in the sandbox." "In the playground?" I ask in surprise. "No, right here in the backyard! He was sleeping in it with the lid on."

I bury Reinout in my arms. Then we quickly call 112 to say the search operation can be discontinued.

"What were you actually doing in the sandbox?" Jan asks. "Watching helicopter," Reinout says happily. Of course, that was the first thing he saw when Jan lifted the lid. I look into his bright blue eyes and brush the sand out of his blonde hair. Sweet Reinout, three years old, I won't let you go for a long time.



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