On my way home from the mundanity of washing my car, I got to be a guardian angel. It didn't really make me as happy as you might suppose. Here's why. What if I had been a little more thorough at the car wash and someone less safe than I had arrived at the following scene first: A little sweet-faced boy, sitting on the curb at the edge of a park, next to a fairly busy street. No more than 3 years old, crying his eyes out. No one else in sight. Being a nice lady with a son of my own, I pulled over and sat on the curb next to him. I asked if he was OK. He said, "No". I asked where his mom or dad was. He said, "I don't know", and started to cry harder. I asked if he was lost. He said, "Yes." I said, "Can I help you find your house?"

And this is where I get mad. Because everyone isn't a nice lady with good intentions. If I were a different person (yes, they exist even in our ever-so-safe neighborhood), this innocent child's life could have changed drastically. So the rest of my letter is for his parents:

Where were you?? What in your life could possibly be more important than your child? I actually don't care. It really is irrelevant whether you were preparing your Sunday School lesson or cooking meth. Get your priorities straight. This little person is your life right now. Know where he is. Be where he is! Your job is to keep him safe. Take it seriously. Because really, I don't wash my car that often.

Cherie H. Gilmore


See what people are talking about at The Community Table!