A dirty little girl arrived on my doorstep last week. She was covered in dirt and sweat, with her hair matted to her head, wearing a overlarge dress and she was barefoot. She wanted my girls to play with her. I told her they were already outside playing. I asked her where her shoes were and she remarked her mom couldn’t find them. I was contemplating if inviting her in and cleaning her off would be considered some form of kidnapping or if down the line it would come back to haunt me. Maybe I could just give her some shoes. I was about to do just that when her mom pulled up in a sleek black car that looked new. Hmmm. How about that, I think to myself. I go over to the car and say hello. The mom fusses at her to get in. The child starts crying because she wanted to play with my girls. I mention she said she couldn’t find her shoes. The mother makes some distracted comment and drives off.
I know that there are Good Samaritan laws, but it is doubtful that includes cleaning off dirty 4-year-old girls and giving them shoes. Yesterday, she arrived again. This time, she was wearing flip-flops and had a place on the top of her foot that looked bad. I asked the little sprite what happened and she replied she scraped it on the concrete. Okay. Do you have any tennis shoes and socks because that looks like it is going to get infected? Apparently, those are nowhere to be found either. What about band-aids, do you have some? Maybe. Okay, I tell her to stay put and I will bring the band-aid to her. I put some anti-biotic ointment on a band-aid and bring it out. Aha. There. I did something. All the kids run around back to play. While they are there, I dig for some shoes, a back pack, some socks, and a few books.
Finally, I can give her something and not worry about it. I tell her it is from my girls and they don’t need it back. I do not know her mother’s name, only that they live one street over from me. I know the child is allowed to stay out late without being called in for dinner. I am hoping she gets dinner…she looks like she eats. My mind has made up all kinds of situations for what is going on over there and I know a small bit about the family from one of my neighbors. Anyway, as long as I have shoes to spare, I am going to be handing them out.
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~Lao Tzu