I was exhausted, not sweaty but perspiring, and hot—it was 83 degrees Fahrenheit in October. We were leaving to get into the car.
The boys ran through a small maze to get out to the road when I noticed three girls picking
on one girl. They were about 14 or 15 and they were shouting mean, awful things at her (gratefully not swearing), but I didn't want my children to see that and I especially didn't want them to say mean things to anyone. So I did what any good mother with two kids would do. [Significant pause.]
I mentioned it to my friend with me She was playing with the kids completely oblivious to it. She listened for a moment and marched right over there and calmly talked to the shouting girls; explaining that they shouldn't be talking to anyone in that way because children were watching, etc.
She was so good I could have started clapping. Instead, I got on my teacher stance—you know the one—the you'd-better-listen-up-because-I-am-watching-you stance. Their arguments against my friend were fruitless and, well, corny.
"You have no idea what is like to be our age. We are popular and all she does is sit in the park and read." Okay, I have to admit I did laugh a little out loud at their arguments (thinking—oh dear is she in for a surprise when she grows up).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If6McCdJIgU We come on around 4:20.
To which I replied in a somewhat entertained voice, "Well, going to Harvard isn't a bad thing." Don't tell me, that is genius, right?! I am kidding. But I did say that, I am attributing that to pregnancy brain--I was five months pregnant at the time--note the cute belly.
The girls stuttered, "Well! We're leaving." They marched across the road and into the depths of the park.
I couldn't help but call out, "Just so you know, if you do that again she can call the police and have you picked-up." I couldn't think of any of the right words.
My friend and I consoled the girl left a little letting her know we admired her strength in standing up to the girls and for her apparent thirst for learning.
Then, we walked a few feet away just in case the girls would come back immediately after we left and our two boys, aged 4, ran to the stream nearby to watch a turtle sunning himself on a rock. After discussing the sequence of events with a little, "Does this really happen in real-life like this?" A woman came up to us and said something toward the effect of, "Thank you for standing up to those girls like that."
You were the first ones to do it in a long time." To which she paused and we said it was despicable or something.
Then the girls came back and said, "It was all fake!"
I replied by giving them hugs and saying, "I am so glad!"
The lady said, "I am from ABC news and what just happened was recorded and if it's okay with you we'd like to interview you for the series in Primetime called "What would you do?"
To which okay friends, this is where my normal level-headed self stepped out for a drink of mental water or something because I was nowhere near my usual mental capacity. I was enough there to think—the boys are by the stream I'd better go get them—but that was about it.
They interviewed me and it went something like this.
Interviewer/her (names didn't stick at all—mental vacation, remember?): Can you tell me what just happened there?
Me: There were three girls, uh-no, four and they were arguing. Well, actually there were three girls arguing at the-uh-fourth girl and it was not good. Is that what you wanted (obviously not).
Her: What were the thoughts going through your head as you talked with them?
Me: Is this real? Do people really do that? Why would they do that here? Sorry (I felt sorry for them coming up with this idea and me seeing through it but not really).
Her: (obviously getting a little peeved at my answers and my daughter beginning to squirm in my arms dropping things and me bending down to pick them up while stepping out of the way of the camera and microphone to check on the boys still coming up with ways of rescuing the baby turtle and the camera man asking me to step to the right--again). Can you please restate the questions in your answer because the audience won't hear me ask the questions.
Me: Er—(bend down to pick up the silky—again), sure.
Weeeeelllll, you get the idea. By the time we were done Sarah was crying, I was feeling a little worried that the microphone man was going to bop me on the head with the microphone, and the boys had come up with a brilliant plan of an underwater airplane to rescue the turtle. But the turtle was really fine because it was just sitting where it's mommy could see it (or something)—the ABC crew member was watching them the whole time—but I don't know them from Adam (as my Mother would say) and I wanted to be sure for myself they were okay.
Right afterward the crew interviewed R and his friend Alex. They told the camera crew all about the turtles and then I had to take Sarah away because she was crying. When I looked back Roscoe was trying to "catch" the microphone right above him. The whole situation was extremely . . . interesting. [Mental mommy cringe and chortle].
In the end, we didn't actually make it onto the screen for that part and my friend seemed so at ease and able to say just the right thing. I was so proud to be her friend!
Do you want to see it?
I know, technically this is acting as myself, but it was on television and I had several friends recognize me. Also, how wonderful is to to be caught doing something good--even if I was the person standing next to the person doing good. It still counts, right?!