I had a very upsetting experience yesterday afternoon. I took Cakes to our local park at about 4:30. It was full of parents and kids, but I noticed three children I didn’t recognize, who were obviously siblings. An hour later, a lot of the other people had cleared out, and the youngest girl, a three-year-old, tugged on my skirt and said, “senorita? mama?”
They was no parent in the park with these three children.
I approached the oldest, a boy of about eight. He spoke very little English (the two younger girls spoke none) and I wasn’t able to learn anything other than his mother had told them to wait at the park for her.
So another parent and I called the police. It was 5:30 by now. The kids were hungry and thirsty, so we gave them snacks. At 5:45 a cruiser went by—we tried to wave it down but it kept going (would that happen in Rosedale?)
Just before 6:00 a woman came to the park and the children ran towards her. There were several of us waiting by then. We approached her, but she didn’t speak English. One of the women had a little Spanish, so she tried to explain why you do not leave your children alone at the park. Honestly, I didn’t know how to react. The police still hadn’t arrived, so they walked away (though one of the dads did end up following at a distance).
It was heartbreaking.
I started to walk home and finally saw a cruiser, driving slowly, looking at the park. I waved them over and asked if they were responding to the 911 and they were. The most frightening part? They described the woman and asked me if the mother matched the description. She did. They left with sirens on.
Needless to say, I’m feeling a little haunted. I don’t know if the other parent successfully followed them and gave the address to the police. I wonder what I should have done differently. I pray I don’t hear about these kids on the news.