And on the Sunday Rhys and I went and explored all the ground displays as well. One of the attractions was a bouncy-castle-style assault course, put on by the army recruitment team.
Rhys asked to have a go as soon as he saw it. I explained that he would have to go on without me and that it wasn’t the same as the bouncy castles he’s been on at birthday parties and he decided he still wanted to give it a try.
Well, he loved it. He raced through the course, bounced off the end and asked straight away to have another go. So off we went to join the queue again. This time round though he had a bit of trouble. He got stuck on one of the obstacles. I was the other side of the barrier and couldn’t reach him to help. There were no staff members nearby to give him a hand. So a young woman who was doing the course grabbed him and helped him over the top of the obstacle and safely down the other side.
I made a note to thank her if I could catch her once they were off.
After Rhys had made it off the course we were busy getting his shoes back on, when the woman appeared next to me and said:
“He was having a bit of trouble so I helped him. I hope that’s ok”
I HOPE THAT’S OK.
How sad that we live in a society where she felt she had to check that it was ok that she had helped my son.
But I can’t shake this uneasy feeling that she must have questioned whether or not she should help him. Whether or not she should put her hands on a small child that was having difficulties. It worries me that there may be situations where children are left helpless, sad, afraid, because adults are too scared that the parents will react badly if they step in and help.
There’s been chat in the news recently about whether or not we should step in and discipline other people’s children. Well that is an entirely different matter. That depends on the exact circumstances that surround a child’s wrong-doing.
But, as far as I’m concerned, a child in difficulty, a child who is lost, a child who is alone and crying always needs our help.
Please, if you see my child needing help and you can’t see me nearby, do step in and help him.
I will always be grateful.
Even if he’s actually fine and doesn’t really need any help. I will always appreciate the fact that you cared enough to approach him.