Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Last month we took a vacation to smaller town BC. But this smaller town is not without its mega-stores. Whilst visiting mega-store, also known as Canadian Tire!, in an effort to replace the rapidly deflating air matress Miss Fancy was camping out on I think I might have intervened in a child abduction attempt. (Whoa, few things forgive such a run-on sentence as that sentiment, n'est ce pas?)

I was in the 'toy section' and could hear a conversation in the next aisle. A man and little girl.
Man: What? Who are you here with?
Girl: Sob sob..
Man: What were they wearing? What do they look like. Do they have a cell phone?
[This sounds all well and good. Child doesn't need my help, I think to myself.]
Man: Listen, do you want to go to the park with me and they will find us there.

WHAT???!>#>@??!!! Did I just hear that?.. I whip around the corner to view the two in their aisle.

Man sees me and now says... Listen I think we should go to the front of the store and they can find us there. He heads that way with her. I follow. En route the family intersects with the pair and tearful child is reunited with family party. Man quickly says 'there you go' and heads in another direction.

I walk away, pretty much. I wander a moment or two. Wonder what I should do. If I heard what I thought I heard this ain't a case of no harm no foul. I look for him. Where is he? What would I do if I found him anyway? The fierce mama-bear in me wants to find him and have a confrontation. The mouse in me thinks my-word-against his. I wonder should I have said something to the family. Will the little girl? Does the store need to know?

The moments slip away and my husband stops circling the van with our two sleeping kids. I am picked up.

I do nothing else. Feel pretty wretched about it still.

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Blogger Mad Hatter said...

Holy crap. The thing is, I like to kid myself that I would've said something or intervened somehow BUT it's just that there is no time to process the situation, to calculate a response. Such crisis situations catch us entirely off-guard. Whenever I hear about heros--you know the people who run into the burning building or prevent the mugging--I never think of them as brave. I think of them as people who can process the surreal nature of the circumstance they've been placed in such that they can react quickly and with humanity.

The very fact that you followed them with intent to intervene says to me that you were just waiting for you mind to catch up and to guide you the rest of the way.

7:26 a.m.  
Blogger NotSoSage said...

That scares the crap out of me. But makes me feel better that there are people like you around who will intervene, given the opportunity.

I would be questioning my hearing, too, in that situation, but I'm glad that little girl got safely back to her family, in large part because of you.

11:47 a.m.  
Blogger kittenpie said...

That is really scary, and exactly why I am anal about keeping my eyes on Pumpkinpie in public. I hate it when Misterpie sometimes takes her to crowded events, even though she is mostly on his shoulders then. It just makes me nervous.

But? Good for you, following them to be sure he didn't take her anywhere. Good for your inner mama bear for being ready to - as I know you were - pitch a major attention-grabbing, police-phoning fit if he tried to leave with her. I am so glad you were there. Really, what else could you do? Take a photo of him and post it somewhere with a beware sign? I just don't know either.

10:57 a.m.  

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