Did Anyone Remember to Pack Our Daughter?
I admit that I have forgotten items now and then, especially when I am caught up in the tornado of travel. I have left my passport in a bathroom stall in the Zurich airport (embarrassing!) and misplaced one of my bags at a car rental office in Los Angeles. But I have never left behind a family member. Unfortunately, a brood from Israel can't make the same claim.
According to news reports, a family of five became a family of four after the group rushed to catch a Sunday flight to Paris from Ben-Gurion airport near Tel Aviv. In their mad dash, they left behind their 4-year-old daughter. She was last seen in the duty-free shop (probably without a boarding pass, so she couldn't even buy a Toblerone bar). The parents did not become aware of their minus one until 40 minutes into the flight. They were alerted by a crew member, not by the sense that one of their kids was oddly quiet during take off.
Fortunately, the wee one was found by a police officer and was placed on the next flight to Paris, accompanied by an airline employee. Perhaps the little girl can find a new set of parents in Paris, ones who will take her to the top the Eiffel Tower and will buy her sweets at a patisserie and will remember her at all times, especially in a scary-busy airport where people are flapping around like ducks during hunting season.
I, for one, am stunned by the parents' obliviousness and carelessness. A child is not a piece of luggage or a passport. She is your irreplaceable offspring, and I am glad that Israeli authorities are looking into potential child negligence.
However, I am sure children will continue to be accidentally abandoned in airports, train stations and other foreign places. I await the day when I feel a tug on my leg and hear a small child ask me, "Are you my mommy?"
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