View Full Version : A study in compassion

04-04-2009, 08:16 PM
Today I decided to take my son to one of the larger parks here in Tucson. It’s one of the few (that I know of) that has a pond so the plan was, go and feed the duckies, go for a run/explore and end up at the playground to finish getting his wiggles out. To feed the ducks I was kneeling on the ground with my arm wrapped around my son’s middle and holding the bread, while I was using my other arm to pitch it to the ducks, all to Nelson’s delight. When the bread was gone either to the ducks or to Nelson’s tummy, I took my arm from around him to brace myself and stand up. In that split second, he had run off, and just as I reached him and allllllllmost had his shirt in my grasp…he fell in the pond. Don’t worry, he’s fine, he was smart enough to hold his breath so he swallowed very little water. I, of course, jump in and pull him and myself out onto the bank, check him for injury, and just sit there for a couple of minutes holding him trying to get my heart to stop racing. Okay…new plan. Put Nelson back in the stroller, get to car, get wet clothes off of him, put on dry diaper, strap him in carseat, go home. From the time I formulated this plan to the time I drove out of the park I ran into 4 different people. Here’s the study in compassion part:

Person #1- A mom, her daughter (about 8 or so) and their dog happen upon us as we’re sitting on the bank of the pond. The daughter runs over asking if the baby’s okay, Mom close behind. After ascertaining we were both okay, Mom tells me that she’s been there doing the exact same thing, it sucks, she’s glad we’re both okay, and walks off wishing us both a better day.

Person #2- I’m carrying my dripping wet, shivering son back to his stroller. We both look like exactly what we were…fools who fell in the pond. A group of foreign tourists (I think) come walking up to us, to LAUGH AT US and walk away speaking rapidly in their own language. These were not youngsters, but middle aged and older women out for a stroll.

Person #3- I’m at the car systematically stripping my son, wringing out his clothes and putting them in the trunk on top of some newspaper. I am in full sunshine, dripping in all my glory, shivering. A person rolls up in her car and asks us if we’re leaving so SHE COULD HAVE OUR PARKING SPOT. I just looked at her and said in a monotone that we were leaving, but it would be a few more minutes. She told me that was okay (gee thanks) and drove around.

Person #4- Let me preface this by saying I am trying my damnedest to quit smoking, but once Nelson was safely strapped into his carseat I decided to what the fuck go ahead and smoke a cigarette I found in the car. I figured I deserved it. So here I am, sitting on my seat on top of several layers of newspaper in my drenched clothes (unlike Nelson I can’t get away with being naked in a car) kinda sitting sideways so my soaking wet shoes have a little more time to drain, and this guy comes strolling up and asks me if I have a light. I say yeah, and he’s within 2 feet of me, in full sunshine, using my little purple lighter. After he’s done, he hands the lighter back, thanks me and asks me (get ready for this) IF THE SWIMMING POOL IS OPEN YET. I just looked at him a second and said I wasn’t sure. He said okay and went off on his merry way.

So now I know for certain, that not all people suck…just about 75% of them. I also know for certain that the next time we decide to go to a large park with a pond, I am borrowing my beagle’s harness and Nelson is wearing it whether he likes it or not. At least until we’re far away from any body of water larger than a sprinkler.

Thus endeth my morning.

Evil Queen
04-04-2009, 08:36 PM
TTAZ, it's too cold to go swimming. :p

04-04-2009, 08:43 PM
Especially in jeans, t-shirt, flannel, socks and running shoes.

Shoulda worn my sandals instead.

Live and learn. :p

04-04-2009, 10:02 PM
The joy of toddlers... just barely creep when visible/grabbable and then...

Instantaneous acceleration to Mach 0.95 towards whatever will cause instant heart failure:eek: (the little varmints craftily limit their speed, as a sonic BOOM would allow their plots to be thwarted.)

Lord, it's fun to be nostalgic now, but I'm surprised I and my ex survived our children.

04-05-2009, 12:12 AM
(the little varmints craftily limit their speed, as a sonic BOOM would allow their plots to be thwarted.)

This made me :roll:, it is so true!

I am glad to hear you and your little guy are okay. People suck, I always knew that. Oddly enough, I always tell my kids it's about 75% of the population that needs a whack with a clue-by-four. Glad to see some science to back me up! :lol:

04-05-2009, 05:27 AM
I'd say 50% of people suck. 25% of people are concerned and caring neighbours. And 25% of people recognise when you're fine, are maybe curious about how you're in the state you're in, but sensible enough to realise it's none of their business and make nothing more than small talk.