There are times in life when you don’t believe what you are seeing, you have to stop and check your eyes.
This morning I was walking my dog, Shadow, when we heard a little girl, about four years old, running down a side street. I thought she was running away from a parent, so I paused and yelled at the man who was a block away from her, “Is this your child?” He quickly said, “No, do you want me to help with her?” I said, “Yes, please come and help, I don’t have my phone and we need to call the police.” He came down and met us at the sidewalk of a nearby intersection. She was barefoot and wore some little pajamas. She seemed pretty nervous, so we told her that we would find her family.
I tried not to make her scared, or feel bad for what was happening. I asked her about who she was and fun questions about her being a superhero. She claimed that she could karate chop bad guys, but could not fly, but maybe one day.
I asked where her parents were and she told me that she wanted to go for a walk alone. She told me that her parents were still asleep and she snuck out. She acted like this was not the first time that she had done it. She had an adventurous spirit and did not really seem affected by everything, nor did she realize the severity of her decision to go for a walk unaided by parents. Pretty normal for a four year old.
The other man was from a local church and he was a chef in the soup kitchen. He was accompanied by a man in a minivan, who crazily enough, recognized me as a teacher his child that I taught last year. Small world. So it was two men on foot, a minivan with a man and his kids, and this barefoot little girl on a mission to find her home.
We walked with her for one block, helping her to avoid obstacles in the road in the hopes that she remembered where she lived. As we ended on the street, we found that she had no idea of where she lived. We called the police who met us at the intersection one block over and they took her after asking a few questions. We even had a neighbor who felt she might know who the child was, she came and talked to her, we still could not figure out who she was.
The police pulled off, to go and find her parents with her in the car, and it was hard to walk away from that place. I wanted to know that her family had her safe in their home again, but at that point, it was not under my responsibility. It was in the hands of the police to figure out this situation. I wanted to try to go and knock on all the doors with people with kids, as I could imagine the pain this family would feel when they realized their sweet little daughter was gone. I pray that she was reunited very quickly after the police took her.
I am currently trying to find out if she was reunited or what happened, I will update when I know.