The 12 Gifts of Christmas, #5- the Boy on Norview Avenue
Usually there would be a lighthearted introduction to my Christmas series right here, but humor doesn’t seem to fit with this story.
Last night was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life. I tried some sort of Chinese chicken from Panda Express that had pineapple in it but that was the least bizarre part of the evening. On the way to pick up my sister’s luggage from the airport, we passed a car that was stopped in the middle of the road and saw a man and woman seemingly fighting a short distance from it. When we passed the car and saw that there was a young child in the back seat, I decided to make a u-turn and see what was going on.
By the time we got back to their car, the man was pulling the kid out of the car and the woman was trying to pull him away from the boy. I stepped out of the car and, keeping my distance, asked if everything was okay. When they didn’t respond to my questioning and continued to shout at each other while pushing and shoving with the kid in the street I decided to call the police.
Despite knowing the police were on their way, the man continued to usher the boy, who looked to be about four years old, across the street with the woman tugging at him and screaming about wanting her phone back. The boy was now in tears and traffic was starting to pick up. I’ve got to confess I didn’t have a clue what to do. I was completely indecisive yet determined not to allow the boy to be hurt. I was simultaneously confused and completely clear-minded. Mostly I was just terrified that I was about to witness something that would be completely life-altering for that boy.
Fortunately the three of them made it across the street and the two “adults” wrestled on the sidewalk until the police arrived. I hung around for about twenty minutes in order to give my statement but left just as confused as I had arrived. The worst part is that, although that boy was not physically hurt last night, I can’t imagine the type of childhood he will have. The people responsible for his well-being are obviously not fit to be so. I’m not sure if I should be sad or angry.
Today I’d like to give a gift to that young man, but I’m not sure what could be done. When I stopped I was hoping my presence would keep him out of harm’s way, but the sad part is that the harm had probably already been done long before the three of them ever got into that car. If children are a product of their environment he doesn’t have a chance.