That's what a little girl stopped me and asked. When I said, "Yes" she got teary eyed and said, "I can't find my mommy and I think I'm lost."
My immediate reaction was "Oh crap!" She didn't know it, because I look like an adult to a super cute 5 year old, but I'm not really an adult adult. Like, I get by in life, I fool people into thinking I'm an adult and doing adult things but I'm just faking it. Fake it til you make it is my life motto.
I've found lost kids before in department stores, but that's easy. Walk said child to the courtesy desk and they'll page the child's mom - if she's not already up there herself freaking out looking for her kid.
But this is the middle of NYC, Astoria. In a shopping district on a busy street, it's cold and rainy. What the heck do I do?!
"Hi, I'm Michelle and this is my baby Aubrey. I'm going to help you find your mommy! Do you know where you saw her last?"
"That's ok. Did your mommy ever tell you a phone number or what you should do if you get separated?"
That's right folks, I asked the five year old what we should do. Smooooooth.
"She told me I should find a mommy with a baby smaller than me and tell her I'm lost. She said stay right where I am and she will come find me. She will come find me, right?"
I hope so, kid. Should I call the local precinct?
Uhhh. Maybe 911? The local precinct never answers.
"Lets step to the side so we can stay dry."
311? 311 is magic. They can find lost cars! Is there a lost kid divisi.....
Yay, kiddos mommy! Thank you! I thought you were never coming! I thought you left forever!
I am pregnant. I am hormonal. But I'm pretty sure I would have cried any way. Partly because I was so relieved for this little girl, but also because I can only imagine how that mom felt.
I can see myself running down the street, looking at every passerby and vehicle with suspicion. Wondering if my little girl had been taken by one of them. If she was safe, or hurt, or scared. Beating myself up for losing the most precious thing in the world to me. Trying to figure out what to do, because I'm a mommy and I look like an adult, but what the fuck do I do?
"Thank Jesus! Baby, I'm so happy you're ok. You're ok, right? Of course you're ok. Mommy's got ya, you're ok, I love you no love you so much."
It was easy to hear her words in my voice. That could be me.
"You did so good baby. So good! You did exactly what mommy told you to do! I'm so proud of you."
She realizes I'm still standing there and thanks me. My little friend thanks me, too. On her own no less, no prompting from her mom.
We talk for a few seconds, tells me she'll always remember me and what we did for her daughter, as if I had donated a kidney to save her life.
I told her I didn't do anything special, it was her daughter who knew exactly what to do. And that's the truth.