Friday, December 09, 2005

Prodigal Boy

I’m still waiting to get the digital pictures from my mama. And I’m still kind of sniffly. And it snowed WAY too much last night. And it’s very cold in my office today. So I don’t have too many updates for anyone, at least not fun happy vacation ones. But here is what happened to me when I went to Meijer on my way home from work last night.

I pushed my cart around one corner and discovered a small boy, no more than 5 years old, if that, sobbing as if his heart had broken. No adults anywhere nearby. I asked the little boy if he needed help, and he darn near flew to me and wrapped his arms around me. "I lost my dad," he cried. So I gave him a quick hug back and told him not to worry, I'd help him find his dad. My plan was to take the little guy up to the service desk and have the dad paged.

Well, before we got very far, a large man came around another corner and started yelling at the boy for "running off." He was so busy yelling that he didn't see how relieved the boy was right at first-- we'd found his dad, yay! Then the bastard of a dad started yelling at ME. "What the fuck are you doing with my kid, bitch?"

Well, my jaw about dropped. I was trying to help the poor kid who'd been crying, and I was getting cussed out for it? I mean, I know no good deed goes unpunished, but this seemed a bit extreme. To my great surprise, though, I did not feel the least bit intimidated and responded very calmly, "He was upset and I was trying to help him find you. I suggest you keep a closer eye on him in crowded stores from now on," and walked away.

So, I'm really hoping the dad was actually more scared than angry. My heart aches for the kid, though. It seemed even sadder to me, though, because when the dad was yelling at the boy, he called the boy Brendan. And that’s my own dream-baby’s name. Somehow, that just made it all seem that much worse. :-(


naive-no-more said...

Hopefully it was fear that made the father lash out, not his normal disposition. Poor kid.

Eerie about the name coincidence.

Rebecca said...

Seeing that he was with his father as opposed to his mother - I bet it was fear. Men don't know how to handle life, in my opinion, let along a scared 5 year old - as well as his own nervous system. I wouldn't take it personally; and I bet later that night, as the man was settled in, he probably silently thanked you.

martie said...

I'm sure that the father and the little boy were terrified. I think that men react so differently to situations than we women. The father of my own children used to raise his voice to me whenever the kids were sick or hurt as if it were my fault, but it was pure frustration on his part that made him react that way and he wasn't ever really angry at me. He just didn't know what to do so he yelled to compensate for his frustration.

Strange that the little boy was named the same as your "dream baby boy."

Tirithien said...

You still did good, my kola. Despite what he said, I'll bet my bottom dollar he was glad to see you.

naneth said...

You did exactly the right thing in all you said and did. I agree completely with everyone here, too. The man is probably thanking God for you today. I hope his harsh words didn't hurt you. I'm sure it was out of terror. Your response was perfect! You were little Brendan's Angel yesterday.

clew said...

Ditto what everyone said. As I wrote in a previous post a while ago, I was terrified beyond words when we "only" temporarily lost Most Beautiful Dog. I can't imagine losing track of Incrediboy for even a second.

Not to defend the guy for losing track of Brendan, but kids are quicker and stealthier than a lot of people realize. I'm sure Dad was just scared and guilty and it came out as anger toward the boy AND you. It's a crazy world - he didn't know what you were up to.

** Hugs **