As Josh and I headed out from one of our complexes today we pulled up to a stop sign. I was on the phone leaving a message and Josh said..."Oh no...look" I looked and stopped mid-sentence and jumped out of the car. We were at a VERY BUSY intersection...it is 4 lanes and cars go so fast on that road and right on the corner was little blond, curly-haired girl, face red, tears streaming down her chubby cheeks, sobbing, and no coat on. She was kind of swaying back in forth as if trying to decide to keep walking down the hill or turn and go the other way. She saw me get out and started walking towards me.
I bent down to talk to her and get some information. At first it sounded as if she was saying her mom dropped her off on the corner and took off. My heart broke...how could she!?!?!?! But after getting the girl to calm down and talk a little more clearly (she looked maybe 3 or 4) she told me that her mom had left and she wanted to go with her but that she did not have her shoes on in time. So, this little girl put her shoes on and wandered out onto the streets to catch up with her mom. HHHmmmmm...I was trying to think what the appropriate thing to do was.
So, I asked the girl where she lived. She pointed up the street. I asked her if she would walk with me back to her house and show me where she lives. She did, crying the whole way, telling me she wanted to go to the gas station with her mom. After passing some houses I asked her which one was hers....and amidst her sobbing we had passed it...so went back. Just as we got in front of her house she points out to the busy road and says, "There she is"...a big truck and a big SUV pull up.
Now had I been the parent in this situation I would have jumped right out of the car and ran to my sobbing child ...however, both parents pulled their cars into the driveway...one waiting for the garage to open and sat there. I was thinking "Is this normal? Doesn't any of theses parents want to know why I am standing here with their hysterical daughter?"...so I walk up to the SUV...a very pleasant looking woman (who was pregnant..just an observation...and maybe the reason she didn't come flying out of the car) she rolls down the window and I say..."Hi, your little girl was taking off down the hill over there saying she was trying to catch up with you at the gas station" The lady responds saying that she had to go take gas to her husband who ran out of fuel just up the road. The little girl was a sleep so she left her and went. She said thank you and I left it at that and went on my way.
I just wanted to blog about this because it left my heart pounding for quite a while after. A million things could have happened and went wrong in this situation. I am thankful that I found her and got her back to her house. Pocatello is a generally safe place to live and while the majority would do what I did...you never know when that crazy will turn the corner...or someone flips when an opportunity presents itself like today.
Now the parents looked very nice, clean cut, nice house, "normal" from what I can see. I can understand why the mom wouldn't want to wake her child up just to run up the road...she was probably gone less than 5 minutes...BUT...as evidenced today 5 minutes can be a very long time and number of things can happen in that time.
Just be careful, guard your little ones with your life. I don't like thinking about what could have happened to that little girl today...and I hate to imagine that was Carter out there! Every parent has a lapse in judgment once in a while...today was there's...I do not hold it against them...I just hope we all learned from this situation and prevent any future occurrences like this from happening.