Saturday, June 24, 2006

castles in the sand

today was a beautiful day. warm, but not too hot. we spent the afternoon taking a walk down to the beach and playing in the sand. although the little dude had been to the beach before, it was the first time we really "played" in the sand. we made big mountains, and deep valleys, and got very, very full of sand. it was nice and relaxing.

while we were there a man and his son (who was probably about 2 and a half, maybe 3) arrived. even from a distance, you could tell that the man was one of those people that possessed absolutely no people skills whatsoever. i don't even know how to explain it, but i knew the second i saw him that he was.....for a lack of a better word.....weird, very weird. shortly after their arrival, the little boy made his way over toward us and our sand castles. we're still not sure, but he seemed to be a little delayed. i mean, he spoke well and everything, but something just didn't seem right. he immediately started asking us if he could play with us and our sand, while his dad stood ever so awkwardly in the background not saying a thing. no problem. he starts shoveling sand onto our castles, and then proceeds to literally lean on the hubby's shoulder in order to get the sand exactly where he wanted it. at this point hubby and i are giving each other looks like....why is this kid touching a stranger and more importantly, why is the dad not doing anything about it. if my kid went up to a perfect stranger, started playing with their things, and TOUCHING them....well, never kid would have never gotten so far as to touch a stranger because i would have spoken up WAY before then. it was so awkward and weird. i mean, kids play together all the time and that's cool. but this kid was kind of acting like the hubby was his dad or something. finally when the weird dad decided that he son was "bothering" us, he tried to haul him away and the little kid looked at us and said "help me!, help me!". it freaked us out a little. was the kid in some kind of danger, was he from a horrible home, or was it just part of what seemed to be a delay? i hate situations like that. if you don't do anything about it, you wonder if you should have. at the same time, you don't want to cause a problem where there really isn't one. tough call.


i *heart* paper said...

OMG, so what did you do?? It took me a while to feel comfortable, but I'm always a big tattle tale now...especially if I see kids or pets in a car, alone. I wouldn't know how to react in your situation though - definitely a tough one! What did you do??!!

Anonymous said...

First, adorable picture of the little dude in the sand.
Second, driving to work two weeks ago I passed a middle school boy waiting for the bus and there was a man with a stopped car out of his car talking to the boy. Could have been his uncle/neighbor/stepdad... . The child looked politely uncomfortable. All I did was watch for further signs until the road curve ended my view.
Things are more different every day than when I was that age.

Kel said...

lori---i totally understand your quandry on this. next time to ease your worries just ask the boy "help you with what?" or "is this your daddy?". Something to keep the dialogue going to give you a better feel of things. But, i gotta tell you. If this boy did not belong to this "dad", he would have likely ran to you, hugged you, and said "help me" before the "dad" asked the boy to know??? at least this is my take. deep breath my friend.

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