Friday, May 18, 2012


I stopped at Chipotlé tonight on my way home to get something to eat. This restaurant is on two levels (just a couple of steps up, I guess), with an outdoor patio outside the upper level. I got my food, and went up to the upper level to eat. As I got there, I saw a little boy pushing open the door to the patio. I looked around, and there was no one on the patio, and no adults anywhere around.

I'm not good at estimating age, but this guy was little, maybe three years old. I asked him, "where's your mom?" and he just sort of gestured vaguely, and kept on pushing the door. I said, "You shouldn't go outside by yourself," and he said, "I get to pick the table." I said, "Well, you need to wait for your mom or dad.". He ran off, back to the main part of the restaurant, and I looked over and saw him being picked up by a man. The boy looked upset, and who knows what he said to his father. I thought I should say something, so I caught the man's eye and said, "I'm sorry, I just told him he shouldn't go outside by himself," and the man said, "no, no, you're absolutely right," but the woman with him, the boy's mother, I assume, kind of glared at me.

I felt kind of like I shouldn't have said anything, but there were several things that could happen to a little kid in the five or ten minutes it could take his parents to get through the line and join him. He could get his fingers crushed in the heavy door. He could fall on the concrete patio and split his lip. He could run into the street and get run over. And the one I was thinking of when I stopped him from going outside, he could get scooped up by someone who wanted a little boy, and no one would have any idea who happened to him.

So I don't actually feel guilty about saying something, but it did feel a little weird, and I was glad when they finished their meal and left. But not as weird as I would have felt if he'd been snatched, of course.


Anonymous said...

You have such a tender and wise heart.

Liora said...

You are right. His mom was probably just mad that she was caught in not being a good mom. Better to be protective than which you had been.

Joanna said...

You did the right thing and have *nothing* to feel weird about. Nothing.

Willa said...

You have to be so careful anymore, even just talking to little kids. Everything turned out fine, and I'd do the same thing again, but I was sorry I upset the little guy. Although, I guess better than what might have been the (admittedly far-fetched) alternative.

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing. The mother was probably just a bitch.

Pearl said...

Don't feel weird about speaking up. The mom was probably embarrassed. I speak up when I see things like that too. My youngest is 16 and he gets embarressed when I say something to a child like that, but it's always better to be safe.
I am so glad to see you writing with some regularity again. I used to read your blog all the time, but haven't checked it in ages.

Sabrina said...

I agree with the rest that you have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about - you should be commended (and should have been thanked!).

SO happy to see you posting again!