Recently while at Wal-Mart I witnessed a woman helping a lost child find her mother. What happened when her mother arrived was both appalling and rude.  Not only did she shock the woman who took the time to help her child, she shocked the Wal-Mart employee we were dealing with in the pharmacy and my husband and I.

The pharmacist had just walked up to help us when a woman appeared to our right with a young girl about 5 or 6 years of age.  She told the pharmacist that the little girl couldn't find her mommy.  He asked the girl's name and her mother's name and made the announcement on the intercom.  We assured the girl that her mother would be right there and asked her questions to occupy her mind until her mother showed up.  She didn't.

The little girl looked a bit frightened, but handled it very, very well.  After quite a few minutes of we adults looking nervously at each other we decided he should announce it again and he did.  Still, several minutes when by.  Then, just as we were going to have him announce it for a third time, we hear a woman to our left who didn't even come all the way up to us or the little girl.  Instead, she called her name and told her to "come on" with not much feeling.  Call me a hovering mother, but if I couldn't have found my daughter for that length of time, when I did see her I would hug her, scold her, hug her again and thank the people that helped her profusely.  None of that happened, we didn't even really SEE her.  She was sorta behind a display they had up.  Furthermore, it miffs me that she didn't even thank the woman that found and helped her.

We figured it was her mother since the little girl walked away with the woman.  None of us said a word and watched the little girl saunter away.  We looked at each other in disbelief.  The woman that found her said "well, that must be her mother", shrugged and walked away.  The pharmacist said "it must be" and I felt compelled to call after the woman "thank you for helping her, that was nice of you".  That wasn't my place and I'm not sure she even heard me by the time I said it, but I felt that it needed to be said.

I began to understand a bit more when later in our shopping trip we saw the little girl again, this time alone in the produce department.  While I was picking up a few veggies I kept my eye on her and saw her go over to two women with a cart and a baby and that surprised me further.  You mean to tell me there was another woman with the mother of the girl and between the two of them they still weren't able to keep track of her.

The whole experience got me thinking.  I know that there is a system in place called CodeAdam, if a parent can't find their child while shopping in Wal-Mart, but not sure what happens when you encounter a child looking for a missing parent and they don't show up when paged.  Do you?