Tonight we stopped at a store and as we were heading to the check out lanes, we saw a family enter the store. I had noticed them because the baby in the cart was crying. I always try to give the parent/caregiver a "been there" smile. But as I watched a man with the baby, the mom came walking up and then it happened. He slapped the baby.
My heart sank.
The mom jumped and tried to get between the baby and the man. I assume it was the dad, but her "don't hit my kid!" gives me a bit of doubt. But then again, there are times when I refer to our daughter as "my daughter" or "your daughter." Hmm...But the man and mom starting arguing with the baby between them. My husband took our daughter away from the scene (thankfully somehow she saw none of it) and I asked the couple to please take a moment to cool off. Of course he shot me the "mind your own business bitch" look.
My heart was racing. He was clearly pissed off at the baby, her and now me. But I was leaving.
So I stood in the check out line going back and forth. Do I report this? What if he explodes again in the store? I should warn security. What will that do to her?
Sometimes knowing why women stay in violent relationships and how messed up the justice system is makes it hard for me to "do the right thing."
But I did. The cashier got security and I alerted them to the situation.
As I walked out with my daughter's hand in mine, I thought maybe I totally screwed her. What if's went thru my mind. Then what if I showed her that someone else cares about her and the kids? What about the smile I threw the older child trailing them?
I did what I thought was best. I couldn't not do something. I just hope it was the best for her too.