You Just Don't do That

" You just don't do that, you just don't.
You have no idea who I am, or what I could have done to your child."

I was sitting, in the midst of my study group, when I watched this mother. She walked around the corner, had a hissy fit, put her 9 month old baby on the floor, walked away and left. She was all the way around the corner, way out of sight of this wee one.

This, in a busy downtown office building, on the mezzanine floor. A concourse, with the office towers above, and the entrance to the subway 200 feet away. With the street people and the homeless, and the odd drug addict, and busy office workers in suits. And no one looking down on the filthy floor, for a 9 month baby.

And I leaped out my chair. I stood there in my suit and heels and not even debating, I walked over to this baby. Who was sitting and crying on the floor. I knelt down and picked her up. Snuggled her up against my hip.

Began walking the 100 feet to where her mother was.

And her mother was heading towards me.

"That's my baby", she said.

"You don't know who I am. I could have grabbed her and run, and you would have never seen that. You just don't leave them like that. You just don't."

"But I had to get my son." I'm watching her. She put her daughter down out of sight, in the middle of a busy concourse, in an office tower, to go and get her son, from the same place she picked her daughter up.

"You just don't leave them. Children are precious. You never put them down and walk away. Never." I thrust the baby at her, and walked away. Back into my real world.

I wanted to say "His name was Gabriel, and when the time came, I had to put him down. Dressed and washed and loved. Rocked and sang to, I had to lay him down. And every morning I remember. And my heart breaks again. Please, for the love of all that's holy and true and real in this world, please, she's a beautiful little girl, and you just don't leave her. Ever."

Tonight is one of those nights that I'm screaming "Why me, and not her?"