Good Deed For The Day
(And a Few Thoughts On Doing The Right Thing)
It was raining this morning when I woke up. Rather than run, I decided to try and write first, to no avail. The rain began to slow and I decided to go for a run after all, just shy of 7 AM.
As I made my way to the end of my street, headed in the direction of the usual route I run most mornings or evenings, I began faintly hearing a strange sound I couldn’t quite put my finger on — as I had headphones on.
At first, it sounded like cats in heat. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with that sound but just one cat in heat has a tendency to sound like multiple children crying. I’ve heard it in bed at night and almost have gone out to make sure it wasn’t kids crying, before realizing it was definitely a cat.
However, as I made my way up the street above mine, I realized this was not like those times. I clearly heard kids crying. I removed my headphones and that’s when I spotted two children, no older than three years old, banging on a door in tears. The sight stopped me dead in my tracks and I knew I couldn’t walk by them and do nothing, in good conscience.
As I made my way across the street towards the kids, they stopped crying. That’s when I noticed they were both not only in pajamas but neither had shoes on. As I said, it had been raining lightly awhile before that. Neither kid appeared particularly wet and I took some solace in the fact they couldn’t have been out there very long but was outraged they were out there at all.
I asked them their names and kind of just got blank stares back. The little boy eventually told me his name was Aiden and “Mommy was inside”. I had a hard time understanding the little girl, as I banged on the door and rang the doorbell somewhat frantically. The little girl was able to convey the fact she “pee peed on herself”. My heart was breaking for these kids as I wondered what type of person or parent lets this happen?
Meanwhile I’m getting no answer at the door. I begin to wonder if I should call the police as well as what may be waiting inside, even if I found a way to get these kids in. A concerned neighbor from across the street makes her way over to us in her bathrobe and I explain the situation. She ironically tells me she had heard what she thought to be a cat in heat and apologizes for not coming out sooner. She says she has never seen the kids before but has a feeling she knows which house they belong to. She goes back across the street to get them a blanket and her phone.
While she’s gone the little girl implicates they “live that way” and points up the street. When the good Samaritan of a neighbor returns, I tell her what the little girl said. We walk the kids in the direction she pointed and indeed, the kids apparently belong to the house the neighbor suspected.
The storm door was cracked and the screen door wasn’t locked so this woman rightfully took it upon herself to open the door and scream in a “Excuse me, you have two kids out here with no shoes on ”. We hear some mumbling before a girl in her early twenties comes to the door. Not relieved, not surprised, not thankful. She tells the kids to get inside. She then has the audacity to say “they have a habit of getting out”. The good Samaritan tells her perhaps she should learn to utilize the top lock, before her kids end up missing. The young girl informs us she is not their mother, her mother just lives with her. The kids were clearly happy to see the young girl though. Although, they were essentially just as happy to see me so who knows what that really says.
The neighbor thanks me and I immediately give her all the credit for the deed because honestly, I don’t know what I would have done without her. I just knew something had to be done. You don’t walk by two kids crying barefoot in the street. Sure part of you tells you it’s “Not your business” but that’s bullshit. Whoever is responsible for them kids being out at 7 AM, crying in the street barefoot — made it our business.
I can’t help but emphasize with those two kids. I can imagine the kind of home life they have. Part of me wishes I had called the cops. Although that could have led to the children being taken by the state and put into the foster system. I don’t know if we what we did was right but I know the only true wrong thing to do would have been to do nothing. All I know is my heart goes out to those two kids and I hope I helped somehow.