I am overflowing with words and want to share with you something my husband and I witnessed this past Sunday.
We were leaving a bakery parking lot when he glanced out the window past me and had the most horrendous look on his face. I followed his gaze and saw a man shove and punch a teen girl in the back seat of a pickup. The mother came around and cautiously tried to persuade him to stop, but he shoved her and threw a couple more jabs to the arm of the girl until she finally managed to get out of the truck where he gave her a final shove.
So I pose a question to you today. What do you do as a witness to such events? Do you intervene and possibly become the victim of a greater assault? Do you call the police and ask them to take your word for it? Is whatever you do only going to make things worse for the family when the perpetrator gets them home alone? These and about fifty other questions flashed through my mind in the thirty seconds I tried to decide if what I saw was even real. Before I could come up with a good option, the man looked up. Our eyes met, and all I could do is what I do to my boys when I catch them acting up from across the pews at church. Mustering up the deadliest mad mom stare I could mange, I did the two finger point from my eyes to his, saying with crude sign language, “I see you.” The man turned and put his arm around his wife and daughter and painted on a big forced smile as he walked them into the restaurant.
My husband and I spent the next few minutes re-living the event and trying to decide what we could have done differently. Of course we would have intervened had he continued, but it was all over in an instant. The part that baffled me the most is how I, a total stranger, seemed to ache for those children more than their own mother. I am not pretending that such situations cannot be dangerous or deadly for all involved. But I hope, in her shoes, I would have the courage to protect my kids and get the heck out of Dodge. Which reminds me, it was a black Dodge pickup.
Anyhow, I spent the next few hours coming up with all kinds of vigilante scenarios worthy of any Clint Eastwood flick to help a man like that gain respect for his family. Ideas all promptly shut down by my law student sister that works for the District Attorneys office. So, dear reader, have you ever experienced such a scene before? Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Facebook me (www.facebook.com/housewife.reallife) and let me know how you handled it or how you would approach the situation if it happened to you in the future.