Today made me think, everyday makes me think, but today really expanded my mind. I have always questioned fate and those who claim it holds power over each and everyone of us. How can you explain fate? You’re telling me that somewhere in this giant universe someone is keeping a record of everyone’s future? That some higher power commands your attention and directs you to be in the right place at the right time? Honestly, that is a massive theory. Then today happens … and I cannot help but wonder….. is fate a real thing?
I guess the best place to start would be at the very beginning …..
I had to cash my check when I got out of work today so I went over to Wal-Mart. My daughter came in the store with me, and when it was time to go she asked if we could do the self check-out isle, because she loves to help. I was in a hurry so I told her we could do it another time. While we were walking to the express lane I kept hearing this ear piercing scream. I thought it was a Halloween decoration that kept getting set off somewhere in the store.
When we got to the express lane I felt a sudden urge to go back to the self serve isle. At the time I thought I was having a “bad Mommy” moment and feeling guilty for denying my daughters pleas to help, but now I wonder if it was not the first “tug” of fate.
We walked back to the self check-out resister, and I could finally see what was actually going on. There was an older woman holding a baby, and the baby was screaming at the top of its poor little lungs. This child couldn’t have been more then six months old, and honestly I think they were much younger then that. The woman ( who was later identified as the Grandmother and that is what she will be referred to from now on) was ignoring this poor screaming child. Now I understand, as a parent sometimes it can be embarrassing when your child is wailing in a store, and you might act uninterested because you know what they want, but you cannot give it to them right there. This was not that! This child was not saying “I’m hungry” or “I want cuddles”, this baby was screaming in pain. Anyone who has ever had children, and even those who don’t, can tell the difference between a normal needs cry, and a painful scream. This was a painful scream.
Apparently, I was not the only one who felt this way. Multiple other woman approached the lady holding the child to ask what was wrong, and if they could help. None of them held judgement in their tones, we were just saying “Hey, we have been here, we understand, can we help in anyway?”
One of the older woman who intervened asked if she could hold the child to help the woman get a break for a second or two. The grandmother agreed and handed over the wailing infant. She must have felt the way the rest of us did because she asked the woman if there was anything physically wrong with the baby. The grandmother got snappy with her responses, it is an embarrassing situation, but said no she was fine. The other woman then asked if they had health insurance because they should go get this little one looked at. That was about the time the baby’s mother (who will be referred to as Mom) came back into the picture, she had been cashing out.
Mom was a younger girl, and she seemed quite frazzled. In her defense, I can totally understand why a group of cackling hens around your child who won’t stop screaming could make you a bit touchy. What really demanded my attention was how this child was screaming. She was clenching her fists and body, she was screaming to the point of needing air, and her cry did not change or stop regardless of who held her. In fact, this child seemed completely oblivious to her surroundings. Most children who cry because they need something can either be deterred by something new and exciting, being held, or being offered what it is they need, but they are most always aware of the people around them and if they are going to get them what they want.
I normally try to stay out of other people’s business because you just don’t know what is gong on in their life that day. A mom snaps at her young child, you don’t know if mom has just had enough or if it is constant behavior. A father yells at his child, maybe the child has driven dad up a wall all day, or maybe Dad has a giant headache, you just never know. I respect people’s privacy because we all have our parenting moments that we may regret later.
Something about this was different. The child was in obvious distress, and the caregivers of the child acted like nothing was going on. Sure, we have all gotten to a point when our child screamed for hours where we just gave up and tried to ignore it and ride it out, but this was different! So different! This was not just a fussy infant, I cannot stress that point enough!
So when the Mom took her baby back and laid her in the stroller without even trying to make the baby comfortable, and then the two woman walked out of the store, I followed them. I wrote down the license plate on a whim, I never do anything like that! Then I did something else I never do, I went back into the store to find the other ladies that had intervened.
I asked her some questions about what the caregivers of the baby had said, maybe the child had a previous medical condition that we were all unaware of. The woman I was speaking to said that they were very “ignorant” to her, and when prompted to seek medical attention, they evaded the suggestions. Then the woman (I am going to call her Susan) asked where I worked. Why? We were not talking about personal aspects of each others lives, we didn’t even know one another’s name at that point. I told her where I was employed and we said our goodbyes.
Once we left I struggled with what I should do next. Should I alert some sort of authority? They technically had done nothing wrong, but something felt very wrong. I have seen tons of children crying in stores, and I have seen tons of colicky infants, but I have never had such a strong feeling of unease. I felt like someone needed to help this poor innocent baby, but what could I do?
Then things got weirder!
My place of employment called me …. Oh man, do they want me to come back to work? I could never of imagined that they were about to get sucked into this story of “fate”.
I called my boss who instantly asked me if I had helped some lady with a baby at Wal-Mart? What the ….? She is a great boss, but I had no idea she was moonlighting as a physic. I admitted I had, and she proceeded to tell me they had gotten a strange phone call. Apparently, Susan had put her keys down in the baby strolled when she held the child, and now they were in a complete strangers car!
What would she had ever done if I had not gotten the license plate number? Beyond that, how would she had ever contacted me had she not randomly asked where I worked? This woman would have been absolutely screwed! However, through the course of unusual events came a silver lining. The cops would now have to track down these people and they could check on this child in the process ….. divine intervention or an unbelievable coincidence? I’ll let you decide, but it had boggled my mind all night!