Did I Just Put My Child In Danger?
I like to think that I'm a pretty decent parent. Sometimes I'm the bare minimum average, and other days I swear I'm Super Mom. It all evens out, right?
I also like to think that I'm a fairly decent human being. I'm generally always ready and willing to help other people, and I try to be respectful and supportive to anyone I cross paths with. Put out positive, get positive in return, right?
Well, today really tested both my parenting AND my humanity, and I have to be honest, I'm a little confused and uncertain about how both of those roles meet and coincide. Can they coexist?
I'll let you be the judge...
Today we took a trip to the grocery store.
My kiddo and I ran in, grabbed a few things, and made our way back to the car. As I loaded the few bags I had into the back of my SUV, a woman approached me from a parking spot behind mine. The woman was older, I'd guess late 50's or 60's, and looked stressed. I could hear a frantic female voice on speaker phone as the woman asked me if I knew how to take a car seat out of a car.
I think I was initially caught off guard because people mostly keep to themselves in public these days amid the pandemic. I stared blankly for a moment, then responded that I was pretty sure I knew how to do it, given that most, if not all, car seats unhook the same. The woman then asked me if I could show her how to remove the seat from her SUV and transfer it into a car that was parked next to hers. She told me that her car had died and she needed to transfer the seat into her friend's car because she had her granddaughter with her.
Without missing a beat, I looked at the woman's car, looked down at my kiddo, turned to the woman, and said, "sure, I can help. Let me take a look."
I KNOW. You're probably cringing right now. This TOTALLY sounds like a set up. In the moment though, that hadn't even crossed my mind. I just wanted to help.
We head over to this lady's SUV, and I open the rear passenger side door.
So picture this... I've got the door open, I'm basically fully in this stranger's car. My purse is sitting on the ground outside the car. My child is standing behind me between this lady and me hanging over this car seat, and this is where it hits me.
What the f*ck am I doing?!?!
This is literally the beginning of the horror story you read on social media or see on the news. At any moment I could be shoved all the way into the car, my kid could be grabbed, my purse could be stolen. This could have a tragic ending.
My mind starts racing as I'm yanking on this damn car seat. I mean, it's not like I can just hop out of this woman's car and say, "You know what, now that i think about it, I gotta go". I'm committed to removing this freaking car seat. I've gotta see it through. I feel the clips connected to the seat but I just can't seem to unhook them. The faster I try to finish, the harder it is for me to get the clips off. I start sweating as I keep turning my head to make sure my kiddo is still standing there. To hell with my purse at this point. All the while this lady is making conversation with my child, which honestly, I don't know if that made me feel more comfortable with the situation, or less comfortable with the situation...
I get the damn hooks off the seat, and the car seat comes free. I breathed a sigh of relief, and turned to grab my kiddos hand. The woman tells the female on the phone, which I found out is actually her daughter, the little girl's Mom, freaking out about the fact that something like this happened during the first over night stay this little girl had with her Grandma.
The woman thanked me repeatedly, as I turned to walk away. She was so sweet. She actually tried to offer me a bag of the groceries she bought. 😂🤷♀️
So I walk back to my car, put my kiddo in her car seat and I sit there for a moment, processing what just happened. It was something so innocent. So mundane. Just another human helping another human, and my instinctual response was, "this is a set up, we are in danger."
How sad is that????
I drove off and spent most of the day pondering that very thought. I didn't even tell my husband about it because I knew he would be pissed that I put my daughter and myself in a potentially dangerous situation, even though it was totally innocent. (Sorry babe if you're reading this!)
So I need to know...
Should we stop being good humans because of fear? Should we let "what could happen" prevent us from living our best lives? Should I have not helped this person? Or was I showing my daughter how to be a kind human, no matter how much evil is in the world?