Friday, April 15, 2011

Dreams That Teach

Miss E had a soccer game on Wednesday.  There was a bitter wind, and the other moms and I huddled together, wishing each 20 minute half wasn't so long.  There were other games going on all around us and lots of kids running around everywhere.  At one point, another mom noticed a little, TINY, couldn't be much older than 1, girl wandering around on her own.  At first we laughed and said "must be a dad watching her" but as we kept our eyes on her, we looked for her family.  No one seemed to be missing her.  The poor little thing just wandered around, obviously looking for her mom.  We watched her for a long time, and when she started heading for a road I shepherded her back toward our game.  Another mom and I tried talking to the poor thing hoping she could point out the direction she'd come from or something that could help us find where she belonged.  No luck.  After at least 15 minutes her mom comes walking back up the fields with two older kids in tow.  She didn't seem to be missing anyone, and almost incidentally saw the baby.  The mom didn't even walk over to where her daughter was standing near us she just yelled "Come on!" and the girl started following.  I was shocked.  I joked "Well, she's a much more relaxed parent than I am" and we all made a few snide comments at her expense.  Fast forward to me, about midnight.  I was asleep, and dreaming.  I dreamed I had my family at Sea World.   We were frantically looking for Mr. A  In my dream we ran everywhere, asked everyone and finally found him.  That dream melded into another where we were at Disneyland, and Mr. A was lost.  I ran everywhere, asked everyone, and finally found him.  Then another dream - Mr. A was lost in another part of Disneyland...  Basically, I spent the whole night searching for my two year old.  By morning, I was exhausted and chastened.  Moral of the story - The little lost girl at the soccer game certainly needed more caring supervision than what we saw.  However, I don't know the mom's story.  I don't know what took her all the way across the fields, or what made her seem so callous toward a helpless child.  Everyone has a story, and from this woman's behavior, I'd guess hers wasn't a very nice one.  I'm not making excuses for her.  Really, treating a child like that was not only cruel but dangerous and I sincerely hope that behavior was an exception for a truly caring mom.  I am thinking I should keep my snide remarks to myself.  It really is unbelievably easy for these little ones to slip away, even from the most conscientious parents.  Being catty only drags everyone down.  And it makes me have bad dreams all night which make me feel guilty about being spiteful.   Lesson learned.

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