A couple of weeks ago my friend Melissa and I took our kids to the park. We wanted to have another birthday party to celebrate Mary Elizabeth turning three. ((Yes again.)) Liz’s sweet little friend Madelyn bought cup cakes, balloons, and more presents. We had a great time.
All together we had just four kids playing in the park that day. While the children played we watched over them and solved many problems around the world. ((Once again, we where brilliant that day!)) While we played with our kids, took pictures and talked, we noticed a large group coming into the park with children of all ages. The children where accompanied by three adult women.
We noticed one woman was on the phone and the other women where talking. We also noticed the woman on the phone kept calling one of the little girls to take care of her brother. We heard “Lilly, come get your little brother.” Lilly, come play with your little brother” and ”Lilly, go get your little brother.” over and over again. Lilly could not have been more then eight years old and her brother could not have been older than 18 months if he was a day.
While Melissa and I watched our children we noticed; Lilly carry her brother, swing her brother and guide her brother most of the afternoon. We noticed many of the other children in the group watched over Lilly’s little brother until they would grow tired of watching him and then call ~ “Lilly come and get your little brother.”
We also noticed Lilly grew tired of watching over, playing with and guiding her little brother and wanted to play with her friends……So she did. No one was watching Lilly’s little brother. No one except for the other parents in the park….watching the three women, not watching Lilly’s little brother ~ talking…seemingly, not watching the other children play.
Melissa and I watched Lilly’s little brother walk out of the gate to the park without anyone important to his care noticing him. When this happened I stood up; following him looking in “awww” at the woman I thought might be his mother. All women continued to talk, never noticing Lilly’s little brother was walking away out of the park, out into the parking lot as I followed him.
As he turned himself around heading back into the park, a grandmother from a different group and a different end of the park……..yelled “Hey, Is that your baby?” “He was just leaving….” The response was one that surprised us…………”No. He is not my baby. Lilly, come and get your little brother.” And Lilly’s little brother went back to the play ground by himself.
Needless to say, Melissa, and I where confused.
As we watched ALL the children play we watched Melissa’s three year old daughter, Madelyn, mother Lilly’s little brother. As the baby walked up the stairs…..not meant for his little legs or his little mind… We watched Madelyn protect this little child. Madelyn guided this baby up the stairs. She guarded the openings standing in front of each of them while Lilly’s little brother walked past them not letting him fall down the slide or down the fireman’s shoot.
The women whose care he seemed to be in… never noticed any of this.
They never noticed that their charge was being guided and protected by a baby herself. They never noticed the baby walked out of the park. They never noticed the baby had climbed high into a play area that was not designed for a child his age. They never noticed the other parents and grandparents watching this baby mother and protect better then they were.
When it was time for this group to leave:
These women never notice……..They had left the baby behind. And only when they where told by a very alarmed Lilly jumping up and down saying with fear “The baby!” “Don’t leave the baby!” “We have to get the baby!” Did one of these woman say…….simply……”Oh!”
After giving this much thought: I do not think the mom was at the park that day. I do not think these woman where with a daycare provider….I think they where trusted friends or relatives…Who really did not want to be bothered with Lilly’s little brother.
I wish I had the presents of mind to ask these women who they where. I wish I thought to take pictures of Lilly’s little brother and I wish I knew this mom who left her well dressed son and daughter in the care of people that didn’t want him. I wish I could tell her to be careful who she leaves her children with. I know she would be as horrified as we were to see such uncaring care given to such a sweet, innocent child.
Now this leaves me to wonder….What will I do the next time?
I hope I would ask questions….Like who’s child is this? Who are you to this child? Do you know he was leaving? Do you see that he is up on this play set and it is too high for him?
It is so strange to me ~ People do not leave their wallets with anyone, hid their check books and will guard their secret pass words with their lives.
But ~ We leave our children with just anyone. Even people we really don’t know or worse people that don’t want to be bothered .