PDA

View Full Version : Brought A Tear To My Eye



closetgeek
2012-Aug-10, 03:00 AM
I am lying, I was full on lip quivering, holding back a sob. We took the kids to Sea World over the weekend. We split up and decided to meet up for the Sea Lion show. When we were waiting for the show to start, there was a clown messing with people going to their seats. I hadn't noticed when it started because I was talking to my kids but when I looked back over at the clown, he was holding a little girl that looked to be 2, maybe 3 and there was a guard talking to him. He held the toddler up and asked if anyone was missing a child. Everyone was just sort of looking around but no one got up to claim the child. I had that sick feeling in my gut and a lump in my throat. I can't imagine what this child's parents must be going through. I had a wanderer. I know how easy it happens and I know that panic when they are tugging on your pants one second and literally disappear the next. The guard got on the walkie and within a few minutes, a frantic looking woman comes running through the doorway, she takes her child from the clowns arms, the crowd cheers, and just stood there, hugging and kissing her baby's head for about five minutes. I damn near fell apart at the sight. When she finally calmed down, her body language looked like she was thanking the guard and the clown profusely. It could have been a set up but I choose to think it was real. To me (and probably every other audience member), it was just one of those touching happy endings that we were fortunate enough to see.

Anyone else ever have those?

Nicolas
2012-Aug-10, 08:12 AM
Doesn't this kind of thing happen like 100 times a day in these places? When I go to an entertainment park, or even IKEA for that matters, I hear "little John is waiting for his parents at the exit" all the time through the speakers.

Of course, no matter how often it happens, the time between losing track of your little John and hearing about him through the speakers must be terrifying.

Still, the amount of kids loosing sight of their parents at these places versus the amount of kids being kidnapped or eaten by a whale must be a million to one.

Tog
2012-Aug-10, 09:20 AM
I may write too much crime fiction. I sure the clown wasn't part of the Sea World entertainment for a minute there. Glad I was wrong.

There is a local theme park here in Northern Utah called Lagoon. I've never really like it there, but the Gf works at a place that has "Lagoon Day" once a year. We used to go to that.

One year while I was there, I spent most of the day herding up lost kids and making sure they got to the "kiddie corral," a room beside the security office set up like a daycare. It's like lost and found for children. I don't think I ever saw fewer than a dozen in there. Some were in there for hours. The cynic in me thinks the parents lost them on purpose to get some free babysitting while they had fun.

None resisted me when I led them to the office, and most wanted to hold my hand. As an unmarried, middle aged, white male, I can't help but be a little self conscious about that. Ages ranged from about 4 to maybe 7. Only once was I stopped before I got there by a parent, and that parent thanked me for looking out for his kid. If I had a kid, I don't think that's the first thought that would come to mind if I saw a stranger leading my kid to the exit. But, then, I might not be wired right when it comes to that sort of thing.

At the same time, it's a scary set up if your mind works that way. The security office is about 20 yards from the front gate. Anyone walking out with a kid who gets stopped before then could claim he was doing what I was doing. Once past that office, any kid raising a fuss is "being taken home for being bratty." There's no security at the exit gate, but that is the only way out. (Unless you have wire cutters or the like.)

That's the first place I ever saw a family with t shirts that had a family portrait on the front. The resolution was good enough that you could ID the people in it, so if you found a kid, you knew who to look for. It wouldn't stop someone from abducting the kid by putting on a shirt bought at the park, though.

When you buy a pass, they give you a wrist band. I can't imagine is would be that hard to have someone check the bands to make sure the number on the kid's band is close to the number on the adults.

Swift
2012-Aug-10, 01:29 PM
A few years ago my wife and I were visiting New York City. We were somewhere in midtown Manhatten and as we came out of a shop there was a little girl standing their crying, obviously lost. We stopped and started to talk with her, as well as a couple of other people walking by. I was just getting out the cellphone to call 911, when her mom came running up with a similar reunion.

Surprisingly, with volunteering for a park system for 20+ years, I've only had to deal with loss kids a couple of times, and all were solved within moments.

One of the most interesting ones I ever dealt with was about 30 years ago. I used to volunteer at this big annual music festival called "The Great Hudson River Revival" that was sponsored by the environmental group Clearwater. I was a "peacekeeper" at these events (sort of event security) and after a couple of years rose to like a group leader level. One year we had a couple come in one early afternoon with a report that their child was missing, and the child was apparently significantly learning disabled and had wandered away from their camp site in the state park where we held the event. We immediately started a big search and eventually expanded it to include local police and just about every able body we could find, literally beating the bushes. About 8 or 9 pm we finally decided to call off the search for the night, as it was getting dark, and it was getting dangerous to have people out in the woods looking. The parents by this time had gone back to their campsite, so a couple of people went to tell them. Turns out, the kid had wandered back into the campsite hours earlier, but they never told us to call off the search. :mad:

Swift
2012-Aug-10, 01:33 PM
None resisted me when I led them to the office, and most wanted to hold my hand. As an unmarried, middle aged, white male, I can't help but be a little self conscious about that. Ages ranged from about 4 to maybe 7. Only once was I stopped before I got there by a parent, and that parent thanked me for looking out for his kid. If I had a kid, I don't think that's the first thought that would come to mind if I saw a stranger leading my kid to the exit. But, then, I might not be wired right when it comes to that sort of thing.
As a married, middle aged, white male, I've had the same concerns; you have to now a days. I would actually be a little nervous helping a lost kid if I was alone, concerned about what the parents or other people might think I was doing. I might just keep an eye on the them and call the police, though I haven't "field tested" this plan yet. The several times I've been involved in helping a lost child, I was either with my wife (and yes, that makes an appearance difference) or was in uniform.

closetgeek
2012-Aug-10, 01:34 PM
Alright, hours is just a tad weird. Kids can slip away, I know this. My third child was the reason I started rethinking my position on kid leashes. However, if a cursory glance doesn't help, security is my next step.

My best guess is the parent is thanking you for keeping their child safe. That's what I would think based on how I would feel. I have had my youngest disappear on me. I convinced my [now ex] husband to go to a Father's Day BBQ by insisting that his only responsibility would be to have a good time and relax. At the time, my kids were 15 months, 27 months, and 4 years old and I got in way over my head. Between making sure the 4 year old stayed in eye shot, keeping the 2 year old away from the fire pit, and keeping the baby close to me, I was completely outnumbered. I had taken the kids over to the playground for a large portion of the day but when it came time to come back to eat, the baby wasn't having that. I was just putting plates in front of my kids, she was sitting at the table, right next to me and then she was gone. I frantically looked all around the picnic area, looked at the parking lot, calling out her name but couldn't find her. I took the path back to the playground and there she was, back in the baby swing, with some man pushing her. He explained that she went right up to the swing and was trying to climb back into it. He didn't see a parent with her and figured one would be coming along shortly, so he put her in to keep her from exploring any further. I couldn't thank him enough. There was a lot of woods in that park and who knows how long it would have taken to find her.

Buttercup
2012-Aug-10, 01:38 PM
I remember the time I got separated from my parents. Around age 7. We (they and older sister) had stopped to look at a particular booth/display at county fair. I stayed beside them. Next thing I knew, they were gone. :-o

I ran up and down a couple of aisles, panicking. No one seemed to notice my state. Couldn't find them.

I ran outside -- at night to our van. Fortunately it was unlocked. Got in, locked the doors, opened a couple of windows and turned on the interior light (okay, dumb -- but I was only 7 and scared of the dark).

Finally my dad came to van and found me.

Parents admitted it was their fault. I'd stayed where we'd last stood as a family; THEY walked off.

*sigh*

SeanF
2012-Aug-10, 04:57 PM
I've got an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old and have not yet, thankfully, lost either one of them.

My sister lost her daughter at the store once, so my Dad, who was a pretty good leather worker, made a leash for them as a Christmas gag gift - not one of those harness-type things, but a typical around-the-throat collar, like you'd use for a dog.

Just to be clear on how it was supposed to work, though, he put my sister's name on the collar and her daughter's name on the handle. ::smile::

Moose
2012-Aug-10, 05:58 PM
Apparently, I'd gotten separated from my parents at a mall. I'd been old enough to talk, but not very old. Call it 3yo, give or take a bit. I really don't remember this, but apparently, according to the security guard _I_ found, I calmly told him that 'my parents got lost...'

starcanuck64
2012-Aug-10, 06:13 PM
As a married, middle aged, white male, I've had the same concerns; you have to now a days. I would actually be a little nervous helping a lost kid if I was alone, concerned about what the parents or other people might think I was doing. I might just keep an eye on the them and call the police, though I haven't "field tested" this plan yet. The several times I've been involved in helping a lost child, I was either with my wife (and yes, that makes an appearance difference) or was in uniform.

I was in Safeway the other day and came across a young asian girl who was crying and obviously lost. While I felt bad and wanted to help, the first thought that came to my mind was not doing something that would be misunderstood. Fortunately her mom appeared at that moment, she didn't seem concerned at all, if it had been my child I probably would have been freaking out even after a short separation.

Tog
2012-Aug-11, 12:12 PM
The two times I got lost that I can remember, I did the exact opposite thing each time and got in trouble for both. I still don't understand why on one of them.

I was in a store and found myself alone. I went to the front of the store and told a checker or the booth person that I was lost. They paged my parents over the PA, and both my mom and dad were mad at me for that.

I don't remember if that was before or after I wandered off in Sears. Technically, I stopped to watch a video game console (pre-Atari 2600) demonstration. They kept walking. Alone and bored, I figured I'd do some science. I wanted to see if I was strong enough to stop the escalator by pushing on the handrail. I wasn't. I knew legs were stronger, so I put my foot on it and pushed.

My foot was pushed back far enough that the rail started to go the other way at the end of it's run. My foot hit the bottom of the arc and shot forward, right into the emergency stop button. I kicked it hard enough that I broke the button housing and they had to call an electrician in to fix it.

A salesman asked me where my parents were and I told him I didn't know. He grounded me to a recliner. I do understand why I got in trouble for that one, but no one seems to pick up the coolest part.

I stopped the escalator with my foot!

publiusr
2012-Aug-11, 06:27 PM
...she was thanking the guard and the clown profusely. It could have been a set up but I choose to think it was real. To me (and probably every other audience member), it was just one of those touching happy endings that we were fortunate enough to see.

Anyone else ever have those?

Pennywise robbed again.

I am moved to tears by odd things. I can watch the unkillable killers slash and maim in movies (that's what they are supposed to do) and yet if I haapen upon a scene where children are cruel to a younger child--it seems somehow worse. In a recent Nat'l UFO hunters--two of the folks broke down. They were surrounded by a lovely jungle--but that wasn't enough--they wanted more. Had they found aliens (not a chance) even they would get old. My emotions ran around on me. Anger from a skeptical point of view that the jungle itself was more interesting than concerns with space--then shame as I glanced at my own books on space. My heart was hard to their tears at first--thinking back to War of the Worlds when the protaganist was angry at the prelate's tears--as if they could change anything.

The world doesn't respect tears--there is no injustice harsh enough to make the very rocks scream out--or Auschwitz could not have happened. That itself is sad. I don't know why, but when I am done with the TV--I try to turn it at last to something meaningful--as HOS and soundscapes give me a theme for my own life. I try to cut the tv off on a poignant phrase or music--as if observed. And then my mind races back to a great showing by Joe Nickell on Coast to Coast AM, when he had as best a showing as ever in debunking things--and explaining that this is the real world. The words hit deep, even me being a skeptic. Its not for wimps We have no hell for bookburners or zealots after all.

But that's my brain racing around again.
.

DonM435
2012-Aug-13, 02:11 AM
We may someday need something like those "Good Samaritan" laws (those that protect those who volunteer medical assistance) to protect honest citizens who assist children. I really hate it that a child in trouble is a signal to leave the area, but that's how it is.