I just got back from a park nearby. We had finished our walking/strolling/playing the park and it was time for ice-cream.
It is kind of a Sunday routine, and we race to the ice-cream van. Today, in the front of the queue, was a little child, not more than 2.5 or 3 years of age, at max. He was alone, and could not answer he seemed to not understand a word anybody said. The lady vending the ice-cream kept asking him where his Mummy and Daddy were, and he just stood there, mute.
Apparently he was standing there for the last five minutes. All of us stood there, stunned,shocked. We had no idea what to do, none of us could get a word out of him. He just stood there, looking up, as if wanting an ice cream. Did his parents forget about him? Did he wander to the icecream van without his parents noticing. It was such a sad sight. Finally we moved away, we were just crowding there, with no way to help, the ice cream vendor would call the authorities in case the parents did not turn up…
The incident shook me up. I can’t help wondering if I should have done more. And about how a parent or a carer could forget about a child? It was not one of those maddeningly crowded places either. Can you even imagine how the child must have felt? All alone and not even being able to convey anything. I guess this will stay with me for a while..