fall was just beginning to arrive and i was still freshly pregnant. the bump was probably more bloating than baby and i still swooned frequently with sickness.
we went on a chilly friday evening... or, chilly for texas, st least. brian and i went to watch the bird show before the sun set and it was time to go to the promenade to meet dave, erin, and lucinda. we strolled the thoroughfares, passed the scientology auditing tent, witnessed an odd parade of xmas lights on fake animals, and found the food court where most everyone found some scary fried food to chew on.
while sitting at one of the many, many picnic tables lined with food booths and bordered by a building with open entryways, i noticed a small, hispanic child no more than two years old wandering aimlessly. i watched for a moment waiting for a parent to appear and guide him back. it didn't happen and it didn't happen. so i finally went over to him and tried to ask where his parents were. he was either too little or too unfamiliar with english to understand. i think brian might have asked in the spanish way, but we were getting nowhere and he was still wandering and trying to enter the building at times.
we continued to follow trying to guide him back to his family. this went on for at least five minutes. no parents or family members in sight. no one concerned about a missing toddler. no one reigning him back in. i imagined there must be a panic-stricken mother in the vicinity, but i couldn't spot her. there were people everywhere. we were packed in like sardines.
the boy was still trying wander all over the place and i decided it was time to direct him to a police outpost. on our way there, we passed a picnic table filled with a large family. apparently, he belonged with them. they took him over with barely a second glance. not a frightened "oh my god i can't believe we didn't notice you were gone! oh my god the things that could have happened! thank you kind strangers for returning him safely! oh my god!" none of it. none. i was deeply disturbed and very angered. i wanted to continue on to the police outpost to report a case of criminal lack of parenting.
since i probably didn't have much of a case to present, we continued to make our serpentine way through the fairgrounds. there were photos taken of mother with pre-child outlined by midway lights, but dave has maintained sole custody of those. erin completed her mission of securing an elephant's ear pastry and a handmade lemonade. brian and lucinda harnessed themselves into a ride that could make you throw up elephant's ears and lemonade while i stood on the sidelines riding my own, internal ride that could make you throw up elephant's ears and lemonade and shook my head at their insanity.
my only request was a candy apple that i could indulge in in the privacy of my own apartment. it was less than satisfying.
we all climbed on to the texas star ferris wheel and rocketed skyward into the chilly night air. i don't have those photos either.
i held out pretty well; but, eventually, the hours of walking and fighting unrelenting crowds began to cause me great suffering and we hobbled on out of there.