But I do. I walk the perimeter checking the fence. I make sure every board is in place, that no new gaps have appeared since the last time I checked, just a few days prior.
Because one time, one of those boards was loose. Moe walked by, and it must have tipped over. He walked right through it into the neighbor's yard.
He wasn't scared. He wasn't escaping anything. He was just curious, saw an opening and walked through.
I didn't see him go through the fence. I was there in the yard with him. He was swinging, and I looked away. Maybe there was a bird. Maybe I stooped to pick a weed out of a crack in the patio or swat away a bee. When I looked back up the swing was going, empty, like a scene from a stranger danger PSA.
"Moe?" I called, peering into the playhouse, the one spot he can hide in our yard. He wasn't there.
I don't know what made me check the fence. But I saw the hole. I rushed through, thankful that I was able to fit. Moe was right there. I grabbed him (and our dog who had of course followed us through), my heart pounding, and ran into the house. Locking the door safely behind me.
I was lucky. Moe was there. He was right there.
Moe was lost once other time, at school. They messed up, two aides each thinking the other had him. He popped into an open classroom. He could have been anywhere, including the creek they walked to every Friday afternoon.
Again, were were lucky.
Moe has been lost twice. Twice found. But I have nightmares about losing him. Shouting his name as he walks away. Begging people to grab him while no one listens.
We recently trimmed some branches from our grapefruit tree. Moe has learned to climb the tree, and as the branches grew closer to the neighbor's fence, I could see him peering over the top. It wouldn't be long before he decided to leap right over.
We are diligent. We are paranoid. And yet, we are human. Just the other day, Moe and I were in the yard. The dog started scratching at the neighbor's dog through the fence. I rushed over to stop her, knowing that the scratching could compromise the fence in that spot. When I looked up, I didn't see Moe. He was fine, just in the opposite corner of the yard.
This week, we lost several beautiful children (in unrelated incidences) who wandered from safe places and drowned. My heart breaks for them, for their families and caregivers. I will not dwell on the people who have chosen judgement and blame. I do not know what happened, but I do know how it could happen. How it has happened. To me. To Moe. Unless you've lived it, you do not know.
We are diligent. But we have also been very lucky.