HIS LOVING MOTHER
I was walking down a street here in Old Town (Chicago)
not really paying attention when the back door of an SUV
opened. I probably wouldn't have noticed it, but a little
boy, 4 years old I'd guess, jumped out.
A woman was sitting behind the wheel and speaking
on the cell phone and didn't notice what had happened.
Without thinking I noticed the car's engine was running.
The boy for some reason ran round behind the car,
and then to my horror, the white tail lights came on.
I don't know if the car actually started backing up,
or I just imagined it, but I started shouting,
"Stop! Stop! and ran back to her window and started
tapping on the glass.
I must have not frightened her, because she rolled
down her window, and clearly annoyed, asked me,
"What is it?'
Suddenly I didn't know what to say. If I said, " You're
about to run over and kill your child," it would amount
to saying, "You're a bad mother."
"Your back door's open." She looked back: Oh my God!
She jumped out of the car. Her first reaction when she
saw her son was safe was to let out an immense sigh of
relief through her whole body; then she ran over
half hugged-half grabbed the boy, upbraiding him for
what a bad boy he had been, how much he had scared
Mommy. The phone was still in her hand, but I don't
think realized it.
She didn't look back at me, which I thought was
sensitive of her, because I was embarrassed to have
witnessed the scene and would not have known
what to say. I came here and met you.
--My best recreation of a story I overheard at
The Starbucks at North & Wells in Chicago.
The speaker was a young man in his twenties
I'd guess. He was talking to another guy much
more casually dressed.