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3/18/2004


Safe In Your Arms

Today I went to lunch about 5 minutes early. I don't know why. I just did. I left here at 11:40 and lunch is typically between 11:45 and 12:45. Everything was normal in my daily routine of getting my salad and coming back to work.

It was Normal till I got within 25 feet from the front doors of my business. There was a cute little girl screaming at the top of her lungs, crying, and looking for her daddy. There appeared to be no adult in site slightly panicked at the temporary loss of a child, and I had no idea from which direction she came from. Just this cute little 4-year-old girl with tears in her eyes frantically wanting her daddy. I believe had it been 5 minutes later, that girl would have gone running somewhere else to look for her father.

Thank God I found her and not someone else. As a relatively new parent I had no idea just how easily children can be led. I struggled for a moment wondering what I should do to help her. Dad wasn't in site, she had a cute little lisp when she talked so making her last name out was nearly impossible but adorable to listen to, and I wasn't going to leave her standing there for someone else to find. So instead, without holding her hand or laying one hand on her, I led her away from where we were standing and into my place of business just by asking her to follow me. I walked her all the way up to the second floor to Gayle our office manager, while I went back outside and wait for dad to show up.

On the first floor of our building, we have a lot of construction going on, so I went in and asked a couple of the guys working there if they had lost a child. Neither had, but thankfully the foreman had seen someone go into an adjacent building. It turns out that the father had left the child in the car (parked in the handicap spot – and no the father was most definitely not handicapped) to go to a meeting and was gone a bit to long. The girl got scared and became panicked, got out of the car and went looking for daddy in the nearest building (the building I work in) a mere 15’ from the car she hopped out of.

At the time I didn't have the presence of mind to say anything to the father when he came running out of the other building. I was stuck thinking about how horrifyingly easy it was to lead her away. This could happen to my children if I was stupid enough to leave them for a long period of time unattended.

The stark reality is, is that this girl represents every child. Every child has the same innate longing to feel safe. Left alone in a car is not safe to any child, next to mom and dad is. Any child when panicked will leave what you deem as safe (the car), to be where they know safety to actually be: Your arms.


Related to rant:

www.missingkids.com

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MTV leaves Philly due to Union Labor dispute. Keep it going Big Labor - I hear Philly has a thriving economy.

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posted by: Brian Scott


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