Every parent has had this nightmare. Unfortunately, it happens for real to some people.

On March 31, in rural Québec, parents of 4-year-old Nicolas Pineault lost track of his whereabouts for a few minutes while he was playing outside. When they realized he was gone, I can only assume they looked everywhere, then panicked and called the police. They live by a river, you see, so I’m certain that right away they feared the worst. And despite everything people probably said to try and reassure them, this time, it wasn’t going to be a happy ending. They didn’t find the child hiding in the basement or underneath his bed. They didn’t find out he had run away to a friend’s or a relative’s house. They didn’t find him at all.

They did, however, find his tuque, a few kilometers away down the river, a few days later. Then they found one his boots in the river, the very fast-flowing river. And today, they found his other boot. It’s been two and a half weeks, now, since their son disappeared, so I assume his parents have accepted his death by now. They are just hoping they can recover his body.

I can’t imagine the horror. Well, I guess I sorta can, but when I think of how I would feel if it was my son (or the other one still in my belly), I kinda freak out. So I try not to imagine. Like everyone else who ever stops to think about how lucky they are that these stories only happen to other people, I can only thank fate and keep hoping it never happens to me. I know it could. But I can’t think about it too much or else I would stop living. So I will shove this story to the back of my mind and go on living as if nothing had happened. But I’ll give my son and my husband an extra hug tonight. And I’ll mentally send my best wishes and all my condolences to Nicolas’ parents.

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