Lost kids in stores???
Have you ever come across a little kid who looked lost in a grocery store, or any public place?
Recently, I noticed a little girl striding past the cereal aisle on the brink of tears. I immediately stopped my internal debate between Pops and French Toast Crunch and went after her.
I didn’t want to scare her — stranger danger and all that good stuff — so I stopped a little away from her and called out a simple, “Hey, are you okay?”
The poor thing didn’t seem sure as to whether or not she should talk to me (despite my beautiful friendly face ^_^). I just laid it out there in the open with “You’re probably not supposed to talk to strangers, but are you okay? Do you need help?”
It turns out she couldn’t find her mom. I tried to reassure her that everything was going to be okay.
She described her mom, and we set off to check every single aisle. The whole time, I kept a little distance between us to respect the girl’s personal space.
My teen sister found us and gave me a questioning look. She’d only left me for a few minutes, and now I had a kid. 😛
I recruited her to help us find the girl’s mom — and it turns out my sister had noticed a woman walking back and forth past the aisles on the other end. With team work, we helped reunite the family.
We didn’t stick around for long after that because we didn’t want the mom to feel shame in any way (there was something about her expression that hinted at this). Unfortunately, losing children in stores or other places happens. We can only hope for the best and quickest outcome.
As I reflect on this situation, I can’t help but wonder why the other adults and teens in the cereal aisle (and around that aisle) didn’t seem to mind the little girl’s distress. No one else approached her, which worries me.
Hmm, maybe they did notice, but they held back to see if anyone else would do something about it? I don’t know.
All that matters is that she’s back with her mom.
Have you ever been in this situation?