So a few nights ago it was absolutely pouring rain here in Maine. I'm talking pouring cats, dogs, ferrets and possibly a llama or two (or maybe an alpaca. I get them mixed up), along with thunder and lightning. But my husband and I needed to go to the store, so we drove to our local supermarket, picked up what we needed and headed for the exit.
At the exit we could really see that it was coming down even harder than before (it's raining hippos now!) and the lightning was pretty much right on top of us. Also looking in dismay at the current weather conditions was a mother and her young daughter in a loaded shopping cart. I heard her say quietly to her daughter, "I can't take you out in this!"
Now I know how sketchy it may seem for two perfect strangers to offer to watch your baby, and I considered that she might react angrily at the suggestion, but I figured, why not offer and see how it goes. So I said, "would you like us to watch your child while you bring the car around?" Her face lit up and she said, "really?!? Would you? My van is just right over there!"
Now I know that many people would balk at leaving their kid with two strangers, and maybe if this had happened while I was living in Boston, the mom would've immediately declined, but I'll give two theories why she trusted us: 1) Portland may be a city, but it feels more like a large town in many ways (good ways). And 2) My husband and I look like very friendly and trustworthy nerds. Seriously. I was at a club in NYC with some friends, sitting at a table and a stranger asked me if I would watch his drink for him while he went out for a smoke. My NYC friend said, "you're not afraid she'll roofie it?!?" (meaning put drugs in it) and he said, "you look trustworthy." This gets me in trouble sometimes because homeless people ask me for money all the time and if there are any drunks or crazies around, I'm apparently fair game to talk to. But hey, it comes in handy on occasion!
So she ran out into the rain to her van, which we could see from the exit and started to pull around. Unfortunately, this made it look like she was driving away from the supermarket and my husband said, "great. Now we have a baby...(looks at the food poking out of the shopping bags) and a package of M&M cookies. Sweet!" But within seconds she was right in front of the exit! Phew!
It felt good to do something nice for someone on the spur of the moment, and not only that, it felt good to know that someone was willing to trust us with her most beloved possession (if you can call a kid a possession), her child. Warm fuzzies all around! It made our soaking mad dash for our car not feel so bad! And I hope you enjoyed the awesome drawings I made to illustrate the story!