I can't tell you how many, well YES I can...
a fireworks display, on the levee of the Miss. River? Even through the sounds of artillery, we heard a child screaming...and turned to see a man just WALLOPING a child...I was shocked. My friend, immediately flew over there and grabbed the man, and told him, "THAT IS ENOUGH!!!!"
He looked like he was going to hit her, but then he took a good look around at the angry circle of folks no longer watching the fireworks, and grabbed his daughter by the arm and left. ...I wanted to keep her.
Then...in a grocery store? I heard--just heard a boy ask his dad for a box of cereal on the other isle...and his dad SLURRED IN REPLY..."no money for the milk to go with it, boy..." and the boy replied, "But? You've got BEER, dad..." and I had to look...just in time to see him back-hand that child...saying "I TOLD YOU NOT TO ASK FOR NOTHIN'!!!"
That child didn't even cry. He just looked embarassed because I had turned the corner and caught that moment. Once again, the parent made a quick exit--and I felt horrible, feeling like that poor boy was going to get it worse because I saw...
Another day? We were backing out of a parking spot in front of a local drugstore and almost ran over this beautifully angelic Vietnamese child on a tricycle. I made the then-boyfriend wait as I went after her (she was a wee thing) and I did catch up with her, easily, and asked her, "where's your mom? where do you live?" but? No English, and she looked terrified. I glanced up the side street and saw some other Vietnamese children playing, and they saw me. An older boy came running, and met me halfway.
"My sister," he said.
"Where's your mother?"
He didn't answer but I let him take that baby, and I went and knocked on the door. A lady answered, and? sigh...I did try to tell her, "We almost hurt your baby. It's not SAFE." (This was 30, maybe 40 yards from a major highway.)
"No English." She looked confused and smiled.
I called the boy, and told him to tell his mother this for me: "Your baby can be hurt in the parking lot." I told him, "Tell her that there are people that will hurt her baby, even without cars..."
He said something, and she looked again at me again and said, "No English."
I walked away feeling helpless, then enraged as I clearly heard a double expletive in English from behind her door...
sigh...Sharon...I don't know that vigilante mothering works, but oh...I understand the inclination.
(btw, Sharon? G just said to me, "one day that temper of yours is going to get you shot.")
BREAKS MY HEART.