Speaking up for children

I have one eye on the Presidential Debate while I’m writing. They seem very civilized and respectful of each other, no fireworks or personal attacks. There’s a lot of smiling. They both have pretty teeth, but I think the win goes to President Obama. That smile could light up a room!

I went to Trader Joe’s after Pilates because I needed a few things. I def don’t spend very much money on food when I’m not cooking for my MM or the kids! That’s how I justify new clothes, ha ha. All I got was coffee, nonfat yogurt, and whole grain bread.  What doesn’t come out of our garden I get at Sprouts, which is sort of like Whole Foods.

I had a potentially volatile encounter, but it didn’t get to that point, although it could have.  As I walked to my car,  I watched a young mom  asking her son (he looked to be about three or four) for his hand so they could cross into the parking lot. “Will you give me your hand?” I was thinking to myself that her tone of voice was very nice, but I would have suggested she just take his hand without bringing him into the decision making process, or as she took his hand, she could have said, “We hold hands in the street”. Simple. Direct. No room for disagreement.  Kids that age respond to simple directives. They don’t need to be given the opportunity to say no especially for scenarios like taking hands for safety. Predictably, the little boy said “No” and pulled his hand away. It turned into a bit of a give and take between them, while mom made attempts to explain the reasons why it would be a good idea to take her hand,  but before it could get resolved, the dad or bf who had already made his way to the car came back with a determined stride and grabbed his arm and pulled him all the way to the car. Of course, the little boy started to cry. That really pissed me off. He was huge and mean looking and his poor wife/gf looked a bit afraid of him too. That made me even more angry and, as they walked by me,  I said, “You didn’t need to pull his arm. You’re being too rough with such a little boy. You should not do that”  This is not new territory for me. I speak up all the time if I see abuse or potential abuse. I feel like I need to be a vocal advocate for the victim, because if I just stand by and do or say nothing, I am complicit in the mistreatment. Sometimes it escalates into my being verbally attacked, but I just can’t walk away.  This time, however, the mom gave me a look that was so sad and sorrowful that I couldn’t help but feel that what I witnessed was a snapshot into her life and it’s not great. The guy didn’t retaliate or anything; I think that most bullies don’t like to be called out on their bad behavior.

I got in my car and was driving away when a woman in an SUV was speeding through the parking lot, not looking, and of course on her cell phone. When she screeched to a stop barely missing a pedestrian,  I motioned to her phone and said “Get. Off. The. Phone.” She flipped me off and sped away. I think the universe is sending me a message. It’s time to go home and immerse myself in seashells.

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