Friday 25 January 2013

To The Woman With The Toilet Rolls

We’re all so busy now, aren’t we? Busy, busy, going about our lives. Too busy to really see what’s going on around us. Too busy, perhaps, to notice a stranger’s obvious plea for help. Well, today I encountered an individual who had time for her fellow citizens. She was busy, sure, she had loo roll to get home, but she still took the time to help out a stranger.

Let me explain. You see, I’d just been shopping in the Co-op. I’d bought some bread and, because I was feeling frivolous, some hula hoops. I had Ebony in the Ergo, all snug and warm in her snowsuit. Perhaps a little too snug for the heaters in Co-op, actually. We exited Co-op, and I looked about for the car. It wasn’t there.

You probably now think this is a really exciting story about car theft. You might be speculating about whether it will feature a real life car chase. Now you may be noticing how expertly I created the essence of a dull tale by telling you the contents of my run of the mill shopping bag, and now you’re waiting for the BOOM car chase. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint, but that’s not where this story is headed.

The car wasn’t there because my husband hadn’t yet arrived to give us a lift home. I knew he’d be driving down the hill shortly, so I thought I’d walk part way up the hill so he wouldn’t have to drive into the busy car park of Co-op. What can I say, I’m a considerate wife. So, with Ebony strapped to me, and nestled in her snowsuit and accompanying hood, we set off on our short and not at all perilous journey.

I walked for, as expected, about two minutes until my husband arrived and pulled up beside me. The traffic was busy, so I paused for a minute as I waited for an opening so I could get round to the other side of the car and get seated.

To the average busy person, I probably just looked like a Mum, carrying her baby and some bread, waiting to cross the road. But not to the woman with the toilet rolls. No, she took the time to truly evaluate the situation. What may have looked like an everyday scene, was actually, if you think about it, a pretty desperate cry for help.

The truth of the matter was, I didn’t know how to look after my child. On the outside I was strong, capable, but on the inside I was falling apart. I just didn’t know what to do anymore.

You were all too busy to help. Busy going shopping, busy at work, busy seeing friends. But while you were busy, I was at a standstill by the side of a busy road, because I needed help.

Woman with toilet rolls saw this, and she shouted out, rather helpfully: “Put a hat on him!”

Of course, the key to great parenting, the hat! A hood is not enough. Getting into a car is not enough. The hat, oh the hat.

I turned, to thank woman with toilet rolls. And she, in a gesture to show how disgracefully busy the rest of the world had been when I needed them, shook her head in disgust.

Just then the traffic slowed, and I was able to get into the car and begin my journey home. So, I didn’t get to thank that kind, perceptive stranger for her help.

So, woman with toilet rolls, I hope you got home safely. It is icy out.

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