Earlier this week, I was sitting on the couch and the front door swung open. Rob said, “Get in the car, Mama, we’re going to look for a kid.” I quickly got my shoes on, and into the car we went.
Rob and Scarlett had just been on a bike ride through our neighborhood when a man in a white car flagged them down. He said, “Have you seen a boy on a red bike?” They could tell he was panicked. “He’s 9 years old and we think he’s lost. He didn’t show up at the park.”
It’s situations like this that we’ve come to call our “Blake moments.” It would be fairly typical for someone to say, “No, haven’t seen him but will keep our eyes open,” and go on their merry way. It’s easy to justify that we are in a safe neighborhood and he’ll be fine. Instead, when a situation like this arises, we think: what is the right thing, or the kind thing to do? It often becomes a personal opportunity for us to do a good deed.
We drove out the far side of our complex, heading into a development several blocks away from where they interacted with the Dad. As we crossed the intersection, we acknowledged how easy it would be to get lost, especially as a kid. We live in suburbia. Whether it be condos or houses, each development is filled with hundreds of units and properties that look identical and seemingly every street name starts with the word Carmel.
But we got lucky. Not two blocks further, we saw a boy on his bike (mostly red) turn a corner. We caught up to him and slowed down (trying not to freak him out). Rob said, “Hey, does your Dad drive a white car?” With good street smarts, the kid was hesitant to talk to us. “We just talked to a man in a white car that is looking for a boy on a red bike.” Scared I’m sure, we could tell the kid was trying to figure out what to do. Rob asked, “How old are you, bud?” He replied, “9”. Then, we knew it was the right kid. Rob asked his name and if he knew his Dad’s phone number. He offered up his phone for Pablo to call him. The boy dialed, but unfortunately just got a busy signal. “Did you need some help finding your way?” Rob inquired. The boy replied, “Maybe… I got a little lost.” He then told us he was heading to the park. In our area there are four parks in a 2 mile radius, so we continued to ask questions until we could discern which park. Rob gave simple directions and said, “We’d give you a ride, but we’re not going to ask you to get in the car. How about you ride your bike and we’ll just follow behind you until we know you got to the right park.” Pablo said ok and off he went.
As we approached the park I spotted a white car up the street. I asked, “Is that the kid’s Dad’s car?” Rob took off to catch up to that vehicle, whistled and flagged him down. We could see there were two other young children in the car, and this man was frantically searching the neighborhood streets. “Hey, is your son’s name Pablo?” Rob shouted. This man had tears building in his eyes, and yes responded, “Yes!” “We found him in the next neighborhood, he’s just around the corner on the way to this park.” The man was on speakerphone with someone else, and he communicated the update.
We watched as Pablo rode into view. He turned the corner, and we could only guess it was his mother that pulled up right next him.
She got out of her car, gave him a big hug, proceeded to yell at him and hug him again. (I thought it was a very normal scared mom response). We stayed for just a minute as they were reunited. The family was overcome with emotion, and we couldn’t help but empathize. Our story is very different, but we know what it’s like to fear your child is not safe or that their life could be in danger. We know what it’s like to feel you have no control and the outcome is uncertain. We were happy to know their fears were put to rest and their story had a happy ending.
They were so incredibly grateful and all waved at us as we drove away. It was just a ½ hour out of our day, but meant so much to this family that strangers would go out of their way to help them. While our efforts were to assist them, they’ll never know that they too helped us. They gave us an opportunity to do something kind in honor of Blake.
#forevergrateful #ForBlake #gooddeedsforblake