#52snapshots 2022 | Week 20 — What You Saw

This week’s snapshot prompt asks us to write about what we saw that we cannot unsee. I wrote about the time when my son was six, already diagnosed with ADHD, and we attended a Cub Scout picnic in the nearby park. Soon after we arrived, we saw a woman beating her toddler with either a ruler or a stick. The poor kid screamed and cried. My son said, “Mom, you have to do something.” He knew what it felt like to be hit like that. His father did it to him, and the abuse to both my baby and me catalyzed my divorce.

I approached the Cub Scout leader, easily found since he wore the classic khaki uniform. He refused to do anything, even though this abuse was in plain sight.

I took my son in hand and we went to my car in the lot. Because I worked in the cellular division of AT&T–this was the early 1990s–I had a cell phone. It was larger than a blackboard eraser. I called the police.

They came quickly and apprehended the woman. She screamed out, “Who did this? Who called the police?” My son and I looked at each other and agreed: now was a good time to leave. I admit I was afraid the woman would seek us out in retaliation.

I lost any respect for the Cub Scouts that day. We never knew what happened to the woman or the child. But we felt good that we had taken action. Mostly, I was proud of my son for standing up against abuse, even as a six-year-old.

About Barbara Krasner

History writer and award-winning author Barbara Krasner writes Jewish-themed poetry, articles, nonfiction books, and novels for children and adults.
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