Today, I was faced with quandary. At the co-op, in the middle of yet another battle over what was supposed to be a set in stone schedule, one of the mom’s came and got me. My head was raging between the schedule issues and pollen I had had enough. Nonetheless I followed my friend to a woman who was trying very patiently to talk to us. The only problem is I flunked high school Spanish, and didn’t do much better in college Spanish. And after 20 years I really only remember how to say Hello. We finally decided she needed to use the bathroom. We showed her where to go and we were done. We were happy we were able to help.
Only problem was she didn’t need to use the bathroom, and it was obvious she needed something. At this point, I was by myself and basically useless. She was being very patient with me. I think she knew if she could just get me to understand, I would help her. Its very frustrating knowing someone needs help, but yet you can’t quite figure out what they need. I was amazed at how calm she was. Finally in desperation, I went into the writing class, where I knew several of the kids were being taught Spanish by their parents. I was praying one of the kids knew enough Spanish to help her.
I was a little worried when two students and the teacher descended on her, but in the end it worked out well. Patching together the Spanish they knew, they were able figured out what she really needed was a ride. She had been trying to tell me that she had a very long walk and it was getting ready to rain. She had walked down to the school to see her kids and she was nervous about getting home. Her kids would ride the bus home, but she would have to walk.
Here was my quandary. We have taught these kids to not talk to strangers, and definitely DO NOT get in a car with strangers. Every one of the high school students in that class knew I didn’t know the woman, I could barely communicate with her and I going to help her. I was going to not only talk to a stranger, but to give her a ride. Its one of those strange situations where you know the right thing to do is give the poor woman a ride, but if my teenage son had made the same decision I would have had a heart attack. I would have been terrified and thinking of all the disastrous what if scenarios that could have occurred. How do you teach your child to be safe and yet be willing to help?
It was the right thing to do, but it may have put a damper on my lessons about talking to strangers and never ever give a stranger a ride. It was a definite quandary, but in the end there was only one choice and one right decision. We have been placed on this earth to help one another, so I did.