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Old 11-18-2008, 12:06 AM   #1
bailsmom
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Helped a little girl tonight, feel bad that I did it...Not feeling so bad anymore :)
So DH and I are out walking our dog tonight as we do every night and we have a system that DH runs around the block one way and I go the opposite and we meet in the middle and walk the rest of the way home. We usually meet up at this certain street and head home, only tonight he didn't go the usual way he goes so we ended up meeting a block sooner than normal. Now we sometimes take this block but only once in a blue moon. So he meets up with us and we head down the street.

We almost get the end of the block when we hear this little voice calling for her dad to let her in the house. Odd, quite odd. So, being a woman, I of course stop and listen again. She's banging on the door and calling for her dad to open up the door. Now we can't see her as the house is a 3 family and the back porches are enclosed. She keeps banging and we keep waiting for the door to open, it doesn't. So we sit and wait for about a minute and a half and then my 'instincts' kick in and I start to wonder if she's got a coat on. She didn't.

So I hand the dog off to my DH and head up the steps, calling out to her if she was okay and needed any help. She was up on the 2nd floor and I start walking up the stairs and she peeks down and tells me she's okay but her dad doesn't hear her. So I get up to her, she's not even 7 years old, it's 30 degrees out, wind blowing and she's standing there banging on the door in her sock-footed feet and just a bath robe on over her jammies.

Oy, my goodness I almost took my coat off and wrapped her in it. So I ask her again if she's okay and she says yes, that her Dad was in another room on the computer. So I open the screen door and bang quite hard on the storm, which opens immediately as it wasn't closed to begin with. She just couldn't open the screen door. I think height was an issue. So the door opens and I scoot her inside and the dog greets me with a tail wag and I panic thinking it's going to bite me, then.....her Dad walks into the kitchen.

He looks at me like I'm a criminal. So I quickly explain that we were walking our dog and we heard her calling for him to open the door and waited and that's why I'm standing there on his porch. He doesn't believe me. I explain again and he looks at his daughter and says "Kayla, are you serious"? He was in shock which I totally understand. So I say my goodbye's and we continue on our walk.

Here's where I feel bad, I feel like I did something wrong. I keep telling myself that I did the right thing, but at the same time there's this nagging feeling that I shouldn't have done it. But we couldn't just walk away and let a little girl cry for her Dad in the cold. I knew he knew I wasn't lying when he looked at her face when he asked if she was really on the porch. That's why I left. I get the whole "OMG there's a total stranger in my open doorway claiming my daughter was out on the porch in the dark", but if I were a 'bad person' would I have knocked as loudly as I did? He was there in like 3 seconds.

Did I do the right thing? If DH hadn't changed his route we never would have gone down that street. I hate that I feel this way. I did something good and I feel bad. Did I do the right thing?
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Last edited by bailsmom : 11-19-2008 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:15 AM   #2
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You 100% did the right thing. Just think of how much time might have actually passed had you not heard that poor thing, and, what could have happened. I'm sure it was a shock to him, but possibly more so because, it seems, he had no idea the little girl was even out of the house!

All that matters is you know your intentions, and, that girl is safe in her home. I'm sure her father talked to her more about what happened and the girl told him exactly what happened. He should be grateful you happened to hear her!
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bailsmom (11-18-2008)
Old 11-18-2008, 12:28 AM   #3
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Inserting oneself into other's affairs is very uncomfortable for some. Perhaps that's why you feel bad. Perhaps you just were outside your comfort zone. You assisted a child in need. You did right. Good job.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gertie View Post
Inserting oneself into other's affairs is very uncomfortable for some. Perhaps that's why you feel bad. Perhaps you just were outside your comfort zone. You assisted a child in need. You did right. Good job.
I think Gertie said it exactly right. You ABSOLUTELY did the right thing. As a parent, I would initially be pretty surprised by the situation, too. That's natural. But it doesn't mean you did anything wrong. It's just the way of things. Perhaps the dad is an introvert and not good at talking to strangers- especially unexpectedly like that. He was probably also feeling bad about his little girl being stuck outside in the cold. I think you did fine, though. I think these days, people are surprised when a stranger offers help.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:14 AM   #5
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You did the right thing for sure....

I am so sad that the world is the way it is sometimes....If you are in a teaching or educational environment and a child is crying, you are not to hug them, if you see an emergency...you are to call the authorities...

They are really signs of the times...yes there are exceptions to every rule, and perhaps they are all necessary precautions, but sometimes it breaks my heart....

I was told by someone recently that there is even a thing as third party sexual harrassment....meaning that even though there maybe, for an example, two ppl consentually hugging...a third person viewing it all may feel uncomfortable by it...where does it stop?

Last year or so I stopped to help an old lady on a country road, her car had broken down and houses are fairly spaced out there. She accepted a ride back to her house, and was greatful for it, but I couldn't help thinking in the back of my mind that maybe it was a bad idea....maybe she would think I was an abductor, maybe she would hijack me....I mean both of them really horrible to think....in the end...she got back to her house safe and sound...and I went on my way feeling good, but still feeling like I was lucky that nothing bad happened....*sigh*

Yes....you did the right thing.....!
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:28 AM   #6
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You did the right thing. I, myself would have gone the route that Artlady said but I think it boils down to my past experiences with things like that.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:06 PM   #7
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You TOTALLY did the right thing!
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:25 PM   #8
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You definitely did the right thing.

I know what you mean about feeling uncomfortable, though. It's become scary to try and help a child who is in trouble.

A couple of years ago, I was at my local WalMart in the ladies clothing department, and there was a little girl about 3 or 4 just walking around crying her eyes out. I stopped and asked her if she was lost, and she said yes. Fortunately we were in site of the customer service desk, so I pointed to where the ladies were working and said "will you let me walk you over to the WalMart ladies so they can help find your mommy?" She said yes, so we walked over to the desk and had them page her mom. Well, when Mom showed up, she gave me a look like I'd tried to make off with her kid, and then started yelling at the little girl for not staying with them. I just nodded at the gals behind the counter and went on about my business.

It's sad when you feel weird and creepy about helping a child who is lost, cold, or in a bad situation.....and it makes you wonder how many people just turn around and walk away from the same situation simply so they won't have to get looked at like they're a criminal when all they're trying to do is help.
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Old 11-20-2008, 07:59 PM   #9
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Yep, you did the right thing. You assisted a young child in need.
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Old 11-20-2008, 08:44 PM   #10
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My DD was a real stinker when she was little (what am I saying was for, she still is!) and she always got her little brother involved too. Once when my DD was about 4 and my DS about 2 I set them down for naps. I sat down on the couch, and exhausted, wound up taking a little nap myself. Next thing I know there is a knock on my door. A woman I didn't recognize was at the door and behind her were my children - My DD in a t shirt and bare feet and my DS with his training pants on and nothing else (it was summer in the Los Angeles San Fernando Valley). It so happens that my DD decided to sneak into my room and out of the window and took her brother along. They went to a near by neighbors house, knocked on their door and asked for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I had just moved into the neighborhood and didn't know my neighbors yet. Thank GOD they weren't weirdos!!! Anyway, because the kids asked for food I got a knock on my door a few hours later from the police. The neighbors called them and told them they feared my kids weren't being fed. Thankfully the police were understanding. I showed them my full refrigerator and cupboards and they checked the kids for bruises and asked them a few questions about why they were outside. I don't recall having to go through anything more. But I was so scared that a simple mistake (yes I should have made sure my window was secure before falling asleep myself) and a child's curiosity and penchant for PB & J could get me investigated and may even have cost me my children.

I did have a good talk with both kids!!! I'm just very lucky it turned out ok. There are many times when I think about that day and I do have more sympathy when things like that happen to parents now than I think I would have before it happened to me.

You absolutely did the right thing bailsmom.
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