Last night, I decided to visit one of my favorite places - Books a Million. I can stay in that store for hours reading, relaxing, and browsing books. I took second born with me and as we pulled into the book store parking lot, I parked beside a white SUV with the engine still running. Second born said, "Mama, this car is on and nobody is in it." Since the windows were tinted, I assumed we just couldn't see the person. Second born got out of the car and his curious mind led him to peek into the windows. "Mama! There's a baby in the car!" I immediately prayed that it was just an empty car seat, but I looked myself and sure enough a baby was in the car - alone.
The mama bear in me immediately went looking for the mother, but before I opened the doors to the store, I told second born to look into the car one more time to be sure we weren't crazy. He ran, looked, and confirmed we weren't crazy. Second born said, "Mama, whoever did this is dumb. Somebody could take the baby, kill the baby, and if the car is locked, they can break the windows and still take the car and the baby."
Hearing my eleven year old go through these horrible scenarios only upset me. I walked into the store and my child neglect radar performed a quick scan of the store and I spotted the mother. How did I know it was her? I don't know, but I knew. I wanted to pop her on the head and ask her if she was crazy, but I had on my MOMSWEB shirt with the Isaiah 26:3 scripture embroidered on it, so I had to remain Christ-controlled whether I wanted to or not.
I calmly approached her and asked if the white SUV was hers and she anxiously answered yes and began grabbing her belongings and hurriedly exited the store. I wanted to say more, but didn't.
- Was she crazy or just didn't know any better?
- Was it an emergency for her to go into the store or just a careless choice?
- Did she lock the car and have an extra set of keys or was the baby left in an unlocked car with the engine running?
- Did she leave the engine running to keep the air condition running for the baby or to let others know she'd be right back?
I didn't know the answer to any of these questions, but this situation reminded me that every mother isn't taught how to care for, protect, and nurture a child. I was also reminded by the series of questions in my mind, not to judge that woman because I didn't know her circumstances nor did I know anything about her. No, I'm not defending her or saying what she did was okay, but I am defending motherhood.
None of us are perfect and we have all done something that wouldn't be approved of by another mother. It's so easy to judge and point fingers. How could I ever invite this woman to visit MOMSWEB if I had popped her on the head and scolded her for leaving her baby in the car?
I leave you with the following -
"When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion." Ethiopian Proverb
"When mothers unite, they can change the world." laVender williams