Recently I had the privilege of babysitting my niece and nephew who are just awesome kids. First, they are 12 and 7 so they are easy to take care of. That might be my favorite part. Also, they are smart and funny and kind and polite and goofy and put up with me always trying to give them cuddles even though they are clearly too old for that sort of thing.
So, it was gearing up to be a good day. The only thing wrong with them is that one of them is allergic to my cat. It’s their only flaw really. So off to the supermarket we went to pick up some allergy medicine. I won’t name which one here because, what is this, a free commercial? But in case the company wants to get in touch with me and sponsor this post for some dough that would probably be okay with me. So, allergy companies, I’ll give you a hint as to which one it is – it rhymes with flertec.
Sorry about that tangent there. So we go to the grocery store and easily grab the flertec (I say easily because they are such awesome kids and so well behaved! They stayed with me and didn’t roughhouse or fight or get lost in the store or anything!)
We hop in the car and as we are getting buckled and ready to roll I happen to look over and see that the woman in the car next to me is crying. Like fat tears streaming down her face, nose running crying.
So, I poke my niece, “Do you see that? Is that woman crying?” Niece confirms. So I ask my niece what to do since she is like 12 now and pretty much an adult. And also because I have no idea what to do. She looks at me like, What are you asking me for? You’re the adult here. (12 year olds can convey a lot just with a look).
So, here we are sitting in the car and I can’t go because I don’t know if I should get out of my car and see if she is okay or just respect her privacy (and avoid all awkwardness) and drive away.
I start rapid fire questions at my perfect niece and nephew:
- Would you want someone to approach you if you were crying in your car alone?
- Do you think we are on a hidden camera show?
- What would Jesus do?
- If I drive away, am I leaving because I don’t want to deal with an awkward situation or am I leaving because I think it’s the right thing to do?
- What if I go over and ask if she is okay and she really does need to talk and then we are all stuck in the parking lot?
- What if I go over and she’s just embarrassed that someone saw her crying?
- Do you see any cameras anywhere?
- Cause I mean, this has to be a hidden camera show, right?
All the while I’m hoping the woman will finish her cry, dry her eyes, and head into the grocery store. Or notice that we keep looking over at her and stop. But she keeps sobbing, head in hands. It’s so sad.
My niece and nephew look at me blankly, clearly not having the same internal struggle as I am. I’m pretty sure they both want to beat it the heck out of there, take the flertec, go back to my house and eat all the junk food I just bought for them. But because they are so awesome they don’t say anything of the sort.
I think if I were on my own in this situation, I would have driven away and maybe felt bad about it later. But because I had kids with me, both of which are my godchildren by the way, I felt obligated to reach out to this woman and be a good example to my niece and nephew. To do something uncomfortable because it was the right thing to do.
I made the children aware of my decision.
“Kids, I’m going to go ask if she is ok.”
Blank stares. Followed by longing glances towards the frozen pizza rolls.
“Ok, I’m really going to do it.”
I’m thinking, “Boy am I really going to do this? Wouldn’t it be easier to walk away?” But I take a deep breath, hold my door handle firmly and pop the door open.
And I am greeted with music, blaringly loud music coming from the car with the crying lady.
“Hello from the other side. I must have tried a thousand times…”
Relief washed over me. I sat back down in my seat, buckled up and put the van in reverse. We were going home.
My niece looked at me like I was crazy. After all that discussion and I wasn’t even going to go over there?
“It’s okay guys,” I said “she was just listening to Adele.”