Things just keep getting weirder, don’t they? I mean, life is still kinda normal, but then again it really isn’t. Today when I went out on my after-work-from-home walk, I saw this little dude, probably 3 years old just cruising down the street by himself. At first I was like, “oh, his family is probably right up the street.” There were a few groups of socially distant folks walking around and we were near a school. Then he crossed the street, albeit a slow side street.
As a former preschool teacher and a mom, my Spidey sense was going a little bananas. Then he stood on the corner eyeing the busier street (which, of course isn’t very busy right now and was a 4-way stop, but still). He stood there a bit and then went for it, crossing the street with impunity. That’s when I knew this kid was definitely a corona-jailbreak and I’d have to do something.
Normally, while this would be an unusual situation, it wouldn’t be that weird. I mean, I live in a very safe neighborhood (so grateful!) with lots of children around. However, in this new socially-distant-act-like-you-have-the-virus-at-all-times-or-you-might-kill-someone’s-grandma age, I was certainly hesitant to get too close. But, I mean, I had to do something. I knew I couldn’t just let this little guy keep heading down the hill towards even busier streets and the bay!
I asked him where his family was, while staying a safe 6 feet away, and he just said “I live right up there,” pointing uphill. I told him he needed to go back home and proceeded to follow him from a safe distance. He knew I was on to him, but kept on walking until we reached the next corner. Then he stopped–busted! Now, on a normal non-Cornona day I would’ve taken him by the hand to cross the next street, even though there was but one minivan passing by, but I knew I shouldn’t touch him.
Luckily, this guy had a good sense of direction and was sensitive to social cues, so he hung near me, but kept walking. He pointed out his house, as if I was just going to leave him to go on alone (love that independent spirit, but yeah…not right now) and I walked with him until he got there. Luckily his older brother (probably about 5 years old) was out on the deck looking concerned and enough like his younger brother to know they were related. He confirmed it was his brother and he lived there and I demanded to speak to a grown-up.
The older brother said she was in the back yard and wanted me to go back there, which I normally would’ve done just to check out the scene, but yeah, Coronavirus, so I was like, “I have to stay here, please just get me a grown-up.” Eventually, a woman came out with a baby in a backpack on her back and I explained how I had found the 3 year old down the street and he had crossed kind of a big one. She was horrified, of course and I felt bad for her raising 3 kids under 5 in these times.
I would’ve offered to help more in days past, like maybe take the older boys to the playground or something. Now that’s just not possible with the playground closed and all this social distancing. Even just holding the baby for a few minutes is out of the question. It’s sad!
The rest of my walk was pretty uneventful except that I saw a circle of vehicles in a neighboring church parking lot with their hatchbacks up. It was a Corona tailgate party of folks parked 6 feet apart and talking from their tailgates. Wow. That’s just how it is now, I guess.
Anything weird happen to you lately?