It’s not funny yet but it might be someday. Maybe.

by Mrs. Smith on October 21, 2021

Public thank you to the kind person who pulled over after school and asked me if my daughter was okay.

She wasn’t, and I had made the FOOL mistake of having her get out of the car until she calmed down. As if that would work. I knew when she hopped out and stormed 30 paces down the sidewalk that this was a major-big Idiot-Mom-Moment. I was in such a predicament when you went out of your way to check on us, you have no idea.

I mean, I was stumped. I really was. I was using alllll the calm words I could find, but only making it worse. She’s not stupid. She could tell I was still quite unhappy with the behaviors that led to her being ejected from the vehicle. She still felt completely justified in her massive meltdown and I… well, I was feeling pretty justified in wanting her to NOT cause semi-life-threatening situations when mommy is driving.

I had mentally given up completely, right when you walked up. It looked to me like we were going to be sitting there in a stubborn mom/kid stalemate for a very very long time. No hope in sight.

And then, I heard you so respectfully ask me, “Is she okay?”

The tattoo visible on your chin reminded me of those common in Aoteroa. Your cigarette, long beard, and even longer dreadlocks reminded me of my brother. The compassion in your eyes reminded me of Jesus, as did the way you cheerfully rolled with my daughter responding to your kind words by repeatedly screaming “stranger danger!!!” at you.

“Just having a rough day?”

Yes. Definitely. Kind of a rough year, actually, but to go into that, I’ll need you to sign a few waivers first.

It might not have looked like you helped that much, especially given that the only visible difference in Halia before/after was that instead of being folded up like a contortionist with her face near the concrete, she was yelling and kinda flailing around on the ground about that stranger danger thing — but actually, that was much better than the little silent statue thing. Huge improvement. Your intervention is what made it possible for her to stand up, take my hand, and walk back to the car with me when I said, “Alrighty, let’s go.”

…which was great because there ain’t no way I was going to be able to pick her up and haul her anywhere. For all I know, we’d be there on the sidewalk still, in the cold Oregon drizzle, with her brothers waiting in the car, making up math equations out of nearby house numbers.

I had assumed you were a pedestrian walking past us from a to b on this busy street, so it surprised me to watch you turn around and hop in the truck now parked ahead of mine. You clearly went out of your way to pull off the road and help us.

No idea who you are.
No idea what about the situation prompted that kind of action from you…
But you saved my bacon and I’ll be thankful forever.

Maybe next time, she’ll remember that “stranger danger” doesn’t apply the same way when mom is standing right there. Maybe next time, she can thank you herself.

(But God help me, actually, I really hope I don’t land myself in a situation like that ever again. Next time, let’s cross paths under happier circumstances.)


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