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All 4 Kids Go Missing after First Day in New School, Parents Get Call Saying 'We Are 170 Miles Away' – Story of the Day

Roshanak Hannani
Sep 10, 2022
02:00 A.M.
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Henry and Erin decided to move to another city, but their children were not happy. Still, they relocated, and their children disappeared on the first day of school. Erin was desperate until her youngest finally answered the phone and revealed something she had never expected.

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Erin was on her first week of work in Hamburg, New York. Her family had recently relocated from Pittsburgh because her husband, Henry, got a great opportunity. She agreed to the move despite their four children's dismay.

"Erin! For God's sakes! What do you mean they're missing?" her husband hollered after listening to his wife's worried explanation.

Mark, Alice, Julie, and Christian were not happy because that meant missing an important fair they were looking forward to going to. The high school nearby was to host a fair after the first day of school so the seniors could raise money.

The eldest, Mark was a junior there, and he had promised to take his three siblings, who were still in elementary, to spend the day at the fair. Everyone in town was going. Unfortunately, their parents' plans changed all that.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The youngest whined about it for weeks, while the eldest children were more somber, saying goodbye to their friends who were in town during the summer holidays. The family arrived in Hamburg about two weeks before the beginning of the school year, and the kids had resigned to starting over in a new school.

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Henry loved his new position, and Erin was lucky to get a good job offer just a few weeks before moving. They were happy, but they didn't realize how unhappy their children were.

***

"Excuse me? Can you say that again?" Erin stuttered to Principal Morris, who had called her and informed her of something impossible. She had to stop what she was doing at work and focus entirely on their conversation.

"Mrs. Finkle, your children are missing. None of them showed up in school. I waited for them myself," Principal Morris explained, exasperated.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"No, no. My son, Mark, drove them to school. I saw them leave this morning." Erin had seen Mark leave with all his siblings. But she had no idea if they had actually shown up in school.

"Well, I don't know if Mark made it to the high school. I can call my colleague and ask. But your younger children aren't here," Mrs. Morris confirmed in a frustrated voice.

"I… I'll make some calls," Erin said after a few minutes of complete shock and tense silence. She hung up quickly and dialed Mark's cell phone. He didn't answer. "Of course, he won't."

She thought of leaving a voice mail, but kids his age didn't listen to voice mail. She texted him instead. "MARK! CALL ME IMMEDIATELY! WHERE ARE YOU?"

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None of her other kids had phones because she didn't want them to be hooked on technology. Maybe that was a mistake now, she thought. She had to call Henry.

"Erin! For God's sakes! What do you mean they're missing?" her husband hollered after listening to his wife's worried explanation.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"I don't know where they are. They're not at school. I just got confirmation that Mark is not at the high school either," Erin said. "I'm going to ask for the rest of the day off. Please, ask for one too and help me find them."

Erin got home as quickly as she could. After calling her son again and not getting an answer, she started calling the local hospitals and the non-emergency line to ask about four children who could've gotten into an accident or something. But she found no answers. The few neighbors she had met had not seen any of the kids either.

When Henry finally arrived, Erin was in hysterics, thinking of all the worst possible scenarios for her dear children. Henry comforted her and thought deeply about what to do next as he continued ringing Mark's number.

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They gave up for a while, and that's when Mark finally called them back. But it wasn't Mark. It was Christian. "I stole Mark's phone and hid. Mom, Dad, we're 170 miles away from home. We skipped school to go to the fair. It's really fun! Come join us! Gotta go, bye!" their youngest said rapidly and hung up the phone.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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They knew not to call again because no one would answer. But Henry and Erin looked at each other in utter consternation. They had gone back to Pittsburgh? Because of that fair? It didn't seem reasonable.

They got into their car and started driving. It would take more than two hours to reach their old hometown, but they needed to scold Mark for being so reckless and get them back to Hamburg.

At first, Erin and Henry were fuming. They talked about punishments, hard chores, no electronics, etc. But their anger died down on the road. By the time they reached the fair, they just wanted to reprimand the kids gently and take them back home.

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They first spotted Julie and Christian playing at the fair. They decided to keep their distance and stay a few feet away where the kids couldn't see them. Their youngest children were competing in a game with water guns. Julie won a teddy bear. Alice was behind them, cheering, and some friends were there too.

Erin stood there and watched her kids' happiness, realizing she hadn't seen those smiles in months since they announced their big move. She told her husband, and he nodded quietly.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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Soon, the kids were joined by Mark, who bought everyone cotton candy and was sporting his brightest grin.

That was when Erin turned to her husband. "I think we made a mistake, Henry. I know the money is good, and it's a big opportunity. But this place is their home," she said, reluctant but honest.

Henry had been raised to believe that the man was the head of the house, and his decisions were more important. Erin supported him fully in this matter, but maybe, they should've listened to their children's wishes. She didn't know what Henry would say now.

"I think you're right," he finally muttered, and Erin's eyes moistened with tears. She kissed his cheek and gestured for them to join the kids.

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All four showed guilty expressions as soon as they saw their parents approaching. They were waiting for yelling, scolding, punishments, and more. Instead, Erin kissed each of them and said, "Let's go get some hot dogs!"

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

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The kids were shocked, especially when their usually uptight dad added, "And some funnel cake!"

Erin and Henry mostly scolded their eldest later that night, but they were no longer angry, so it was a gentle reprimand. They returned to Hamburg for a while because Henry had signed a contract, but a year later, they were back in Pittsburg so that Mark could spend his senior year in his hometown. They never made any more decisions without taking into account what their children thought.

What can we learn from this story?

  • While parents must do what's best for the family, it's important to consider their children's feelings. Some decisions should be made as a family, or you might end up with kids running off 170 miles away.
  • It's alright for parents to admit their wrongs and change accordingly. Some parents might be too proud to admit to their errors. When Henry and Erin realized what they had done wrong after noticing their kids' smiles for the first time in a while, they decided to change their ways.
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Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a child who disappeared during a flight, and the mom was begging for help.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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