Have you ever had one of those weird experiences where something beyond “us” is driving something to happen?
(note – it’s finals week right now & I missed posting in Five Minute Friday last week also because of school … but this is important … child abuse is a very real thing in our nation and I think that more people need to take a stand about it, so I’m “linking back” this post from last night … and then getting back to school work)
DH had to get to the lumber yard by 5pm because our special order swamp-cooler pads had arrived & he asked if I would stop at (grocery store) to get some sweet red wine on my way home because he wanted to make a batch of sangria for the weekend.
ok, no biggie. I leave work carrying 3 huge bakery boxes w/ cake and muffins in them and get them piled in my car (planning to take to the nursing home when I visit my uncle so they’re not in my house) and started driving and realized it was too darn hot to leave whipped cream frosting sitting in the hot car while I ran into (grocery store) so I ran to (different store closer to work) even though stuff’s usually more expensive there. Found the sweet red wine and wandered around while I was waiting to hear from DH if M was home or at a friend’s house so I knew if I needed to pick her up. Got the text just as the folks at (different store closer to work) were asking “can we help you find something” because I was wandering aimlessly. Told ’em I was just waiting for that text and was good to go.
Complimented the staff member’s shirt (it’s all fun & games til someone gets hurt & then it’s hilarious). Started walking to my car. from my left I hear someone cussing and a child crying – that high pitched scared cry – saying horrible things calling her child a dumbass and saying she was going to beat her f’ing a– again and this that and the other. She’s got a little girl by the shoulder of her shirt, a little African American girl about 5 or 6 years old – she had a hello kitty button w/ a ribbon on it, made me think it was a special day for her … some special day … but the poor kid’s wailing (honestly at first I thought it was the “I don’t feel well” cry) and I thought maybe the mom was just talking trash out of frustration, so I tried to ignore her mouth.
So I get to my car and I see her open up the side of her minivan and I think she’s just sitting her kids in it and they’re leaving. I’m putting on my seatbelt when I see that this psychopath is folding over a men’s leather belt … and then hear the sickening & unmistakable sound of a child being beaten with it … at first I started to leave that “it’s not my business that someone else raises their kids that way; they’re from out of state, it’s really REALLY not my problem” mentality having gotten ahold of me.
But dammit, The mom was probably 300 – 325 pounds, I couldn’t have taken her in a fight even if I had to, gravity & momentum would’ve been on her side. Plus she was wearing stretch pants and a t-shirt … easily defeats button down oxford & khakis. And she was whaling on a little girl who couldn’t have weighed more than 50 pounds. Whatever that poor child did in Family Dollar (where she got dragged out of) it couldn’t have been bad enough to deserve a beating from someone 6x her size.
that little girl wasn’t carrying on like that because she’s coming down with something that little girl’s carrying on like that because she’s scared of her momma and she’s not old enough to do anything about it; all she can do is scream and cry and carry-on. I was nauseated. That momma had a belt IN THE CAR ready to go. This isn’t the first time she’s done this. Which made me realize that it might make her kids’ lives better if just ONE adult had taken 5 minutes to make a phone call and have someone in authority tell tell her that’s not an acceptable (or legal) way to raise a child.
So I texted myself the lady’s plate #, started up my vehicle & moved over to the other side of the parking lot and called the non-emergency # for the cops. Wow – it seemed like I was on the phone forever with dispatch but it was only 8 minutes and 31 seconds according to my call log from when I called them until the dispatched officers got there.
All I could do was tell them what I saw & heard.
Probably nothing will come of it. Maybe the cops can’t really do anything unless the poor kid really got hurt – and probably a well practiced belt whippin momma knows how to beat her kids so it don’t show. Maybe I did the wrong thing. Maybe the psycho is going to beat her kids harder because they got “caught” getting beat. IDK.
But for some reason God put me in those children’s path tonight and gave me the best birthday gift I’ve gotten in a long time: the opportunity to make a difference for some little kid that I’ve never met and will probably never see again … maybe I’m hopelessly naive, but I really hope that the little girl who got her butt whipped tonight finds a little spark of courage from knowing that someone stood up for her and that when she’s grown she doesn’t raise her hand to her kids in anger or violence and that she doesn’t end up in a relationship with a man or woman who physically, verbally, mentally or emotionally abuses her.
For all the kids out there who live in fear, I hope there’s a spark of something somewhere in their lives that makes a difference. And I’m kind of embarrassed that I complimented the lady’s shirt at (the store closer to work), it seems inappropriate given what I witnessed and the phonecall I made.