We met family in North Myrtle Beach for a few days over spring break. Although the weather was cooler than we had anticipated, my children still enjoyed hanging out with their cousins, swimming, playing miniature golf, staying up late, and trekking to get ice cream on the golf cart. Kid stuff!
The girls tackled the outlet mall one afternoon and that evening, the guys took in a late night movie. Since I do NOT do horror films, I was not disappointed that I didn’t get to join them to see The Cabin In The Woods. (If you haven’t seen this film and you are a child of the 80’s like me, think Jason/Friday the 13th) They grabbed the late show, 9:45 pm, so it was after midnight when they arrived back to the house.
The next morning over breakfast, the guys were telling us about a mother in the theatre with her 3 children: approximate ages 7, 5 & 3.
I nearly spit my coffee out. My first reaction was, “Did you say something to her? Were the kids okay?”
After discussing even HOW they were allowed in the theatre, all I could think about was their little minds and how it was going to affect them. I am THE person that has nightmares for weeks after seeing a scary movie. And I am an adult. How could someone think this is possibly “okay” to do with a child? It makes me anxious just thinking about them going to sleep and the images to which they were exposed.
Because I can’t protect them.
Had I been in that theatre, I would not have sat in silence. (I say that but would I really have done something?) Even as I write this, my mind starts strategizing about how I could reach out and protect them, if only for a short time. Even days later, I am worried about them, where they are, who is watching over them, are they protected?
And then I get angry: How can a mother be so selfish? Are there laws against this?
So I ask you: (in the words of ABC’s John Quinones) What Would You Do?
Jennifer Bilbro is the Founder of OutToEatWithKids.com, an online resource and mobile application designed to help families search for economical & healthy children’s meals. Visit OutToEatWithKids.com for more information or submit your restaurant info to firstname.lastname@example.org