Raining Petals

Monday, March 17, 2008

And My Heart Breaketh...

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.

16 comments:

Lisa said...

Ooooo, this one makes me upset! My biggest pet peeve in the world is a parent who leaves their young child at home, in the car, or anywhere alone! I don't care if it's only for five minutes - a lot of bad things can happen in less time than that. I'm glad that you were the one who found her! The day Lily got onto the wrong school bus and was lost for 40 minutes was the worst experience of my life. No "convenience" is worth putting a child at risk. Ask a neighbor to come over or wake up the child. Seriously. (I will now slowly step away from the soapbox . . .)

Cheri said...

I would have called the cops, without taking the child to her house. No questions. I don't like parents like that and can not understand how stupid they could be. I was soooo mad at the library the other day. I was pulling out of the parking lot right in downtown Nampa where there are crazy busy streets on all sides of this horrible library, and I noticed this adorable little black girl walking around the parking lot and the sidewalk right next to very fast driving cars. I stopped my car in the middle of the parking lot and got out to see if her mother was any where around. Now this little girl was only about 4 or less and she told me her mom was in the library and left her in the car. It was freezing outside and she didn't have a coat on. I tried talking her into letting me walk her into the library to find someone to help, but she was terrified of me and climbed onto the roof of her car! I couldn't just leave her there or go for help while my three children were in the car so when another car pulled up with an elderly lady I told her what was going on and asked her to go get help in the library. I'm not naive or stupid; I know how many little girls disappear and are never seen again. I know exactly where the registered sex offenders are in my near neighborhoods from the sex offenders list and I know which ones are pedophiles. Obviously this careless, loveless mother did not know or care. I think it's disgusting. I was about to call the police after about ten minutes, but then a librarian came out and got her, I hope she did what I should have done, but as Lily was screaming for a nurse and Ethan and Lauren were both in tears because they wanted to go home, I took the lazy way out and went home. One thing I've never been lazy about is helping every lost or scared looking child I've found. Seriously, in Twin I very rarly saw this, but since I've come here to Nampa, almost every time I go to the store I see some lost wandering child. I've had to get help at Costco, Target, the library, and the grocery store. Horrible.
Okay, now that you know how I feel about this particular situation, I'm done. I promise.

Cheri said...

Also, that little girl must have thought you were an angel. What a poor little thing!
My big question is, if she was asleep when her responsible mother left, how did she know her mom was going to the gas station??? Yeah right. I've been big and pregnant a few times, and the farthest I've gone away while my children are asleep is to the mail box.

Bradbury Trio said...

I can't believe this story! It makes me so sad, yet I also learn how important it is to NOT leave your child anywhere alone, even if it is just for a minute! When Lexi was a newborn, I would need to go to the post office, grocery store, blockbuster, etc. and it was so tempting to leave her in the car just so I don't have to haul the heavy carseat with me (if only I knew how much heavier it was going to get!) Anyway and one time I did leave Lexi for a minute while I ran into the post office. I could still see her, but Nick got so mad at me, and I haven't done it since! And hearing this experience confirms why! Anything can happen, and it only takes a second! Even now, I'll leave Lexi in the tub just for 1 second while I go put something away, or answer the phone...not tonight! Thanks for sharing this story Laura! It sounds like you and Josh were at the perfect place at the right time to help this little girl! I'm so glad she made it home, and I hope these parents learned a lesson, like I just did!!

The Van Noys said...

I did contemplate calling the police. It was one of a million different thoughts running through my head. I thought I better assess the situation first...I tried to listen and be aware of what I really needed to do. I didn't feel like I should call the cops this time. I think the parents made an error in judgment and just the embarrassment they had to face was enough...I think...I could be wrong...I drive by their house almost everyday...guaranteed I will not be patient the next time;)

Kristin, Jeff, and Michael said...

Nothing in this world makes me more angry!! Seriuosly! You don't leave a little kid ALONE for any amount of time!! EVER! Hello?? This is why Jeff and I think that you should have to get a permit or something before anyone has a kid. Well I know that would never work. So many little babies have died because parents have left them for just a few minutes. What is worse having your little girl not get a good nap or having someone other than sweet Laura pick her up that would NOt have returned her to her home. It just seriously makes me sick! and sure they looked like nice people...but what the heck was that Mom thinking???? What's even worse is it seems like the mom really didn't even get it. Like oh it wasn't a big deal. Someday and I hope this never happens but she will learn a very hard lesson. And come on I am only 22 and I know that. Ok ok enough...i could go off for a while.

Lara said...

EEEEEEWWWWWWW!!!! This made my heart pound just reading, cause there are so many things I'd want to say to the parents! No really. My heart is WAY pounding right now. I wish I could hug that poor little girl!

julie said...

You ARE an angel. I'm so glad you saw her and not someone else. I think you are right. As stupid as the parents were, they were just stupid, and it was a mistake. But it is a good lesson to us all.

Us Bailey's said...

I agree... that does break your heart! I am glad that you were there to help. You never know what could have happened if you hadn't shown up.

Nate, Des Sydney & Jack said...

oh how sad! Its a dang good thing you there. They don't know how lucky they are!

Casey Marie said...

This really just makes me want to cry. I hate thinking "What if it was Halle or Carter?" that scares me so much. You are really sweet and know what its like to be a parent. I'm almost positive the dad was clueless and thought you were the babysitter or something. But the mother has no excuse, especially to lie to you. "Yes, she was asleep which is why she was found on the corner trying to follow me". I would not have been so kind to the mom, which is probably the reason you found her :)

Casey Marie said...

And NO! I will NOT step off MY soapbox....

The Van Noys said...

I don't mind...you can all stay on your soapboxes for however long you need. Let it all out...;)

Alli said...

Like Cheri said the furthest I have ever gone is to the mail box... That irritates me. I guess I don't understand why in the world you would ever leave a child home alone. She could have ended up being gone longer then expected. You never know what can happen. It sounds to me like she did't really check to see if her daughter was really still asleep. You should never assume... Stupid people.............Urghhhh....
Glad you found her though...

Jason, Amanda & Brayden said...

Oh my goodness!! What makes me even more sad is that they are having ANOTHER child.....I honestly feel so bad for some children. I can't think about it or it makes me way too sad. I am SO glad you were there for that little girl...it is a good thing there are people like you out there...for the people like them.

Mom2My6Kids said...

Hi Laura, Thanks for visiting my blog and for your nice comments. I enjoy meeting others who have had similar experiences. You have a beautiful little boy!

This actually happened to meet a couple weeks ago, only I was the mom who left my daughter home. I had to run another daughter to the bus stop and I left my 3 year old and my 1 year old home with my 10 year old who was home sick. BIG mistake. My neighbor found my 3 year old out wandering the neighborhood, looking for me. Scared me to death! I thought of a hundred things that could have gone wrong in the 5 minutes I was gone. The Lord blessed us that day. I hope I don't have a moment of misjudgement like that again though. I'm glad you stopped to help the little girl. I'm surprised the parents weren't more concerned and embarrassed. I know I was panicked and completely ashamed of my lack of mothering skills when I had to explain myself to my neighbor. I just don't get it!