I made another trip home last weekend. It’s weird how nostalgic I get in such a short time. After all, I’ve only been gone about a month. I didn’t have time to do much. But it was great to be home, however brief.
This trip was mostly reserved for spending time with the fam. The time apart is rough, so I took advantage of the fall weather and activities to get in some quality time. Among other things, fair rides and fair food were in order. I accomplished both and even managed to help a woman and child in need.
On Saturday night, I was coming home from an event and stopped at a grocery store to pick up some necessities: Bread, milk, dish-washing soap and Band-Aids … OK, you got me; I just stopped to get a bottle of wine.
Anyway, as I’m walking out the door, a woman asks me, “Are you going that way? We’re trying to get a ride home.”
“No, I’m going the other way” was my response. It was a lie. I was, in fact, going the way she asked. As I got into my van, I started to feel terrible. It was chilly outside, and she had a kid with her. He couldn’t have been more than 4 years old.
So, I started to think about how I could get this woman and kid home. My van was loaded down with DJ equipment, fresh off of DJing a wedding. There was no way they’d both fit. So, I ordered them an Uber. Never did the question “why is this woman at Kroger at near-midnight with a 4-year-old?” pop into my head.
I asked the woman where she was headed. After being interrupted by a guy who was standing nearby asking for some spare change (I had to laugh as I started to feel a bit like a sucker being had), she mentioned the name of a hotel on Steven’s Creek Road. I thought “who am I to judge?” Maybe she’s hit a hard time, maybe she’s running from an abusive husband or, like me, maybe she’s just moved to a new town and is living out of this hotel for a period of time. Who knows this woman’s situation? Besides, I already felt a little guilty for judging her when she first asked me for the ride.
Anyway, I sat there until the Uber driver picked her up and she was on her way. It wasn’t until later that my wife informed me that those hotels have developed a reputation for high drug activity. She mentioned it, and our conversation spiraled out of control, ending with the fears that I had sent this poor kid to his sure demise at the hands of a drug-addicted mother.
In hind-sight, maybe this conversation wasn’t best shared over a magnum of wine.
However, I checked my local news sources, and no reports of any kids being hurt or moms being arrested or worse. I felt relieved. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that this kid and mom are in the clear. Maybe they have another late Saturday night that doesn’t end as well. Or maybe they go on to live great lives. Either way, I’m glad I helped that woman and her kid get where they were going.
Who knows? Maybe that was the little bit of help they needed that day to change their whole outlook on life. I have been there before, and sometimes it’s just as simple as that.