I was the one loudmouth parent
on the playground today,
the one asking the big kids
to be safe on the slides
so that the little kids
wouldn’t copy their dangerous moves.
I was the loudmouth
asking the ten year old girl
to stop throwing full bottles of water
at the playground equipment–
with a dozen other kids
playing close by, in range of her missiles.
I wondered why more adults weren’t
monitoring and stepping in…
I thought about bystander apathy
and how they must reason “It’s not my kid.”
I was a big loudmouth stranger to those kids,
but I ended up playing frisbee with a couple of them…
maybe, even though I was a nuisance to them,
stepping in and diverting their daredevil plans,
maybe they nonetheless respected me in some way,
as the one adult who saw them
and asked them to be safe for everyone’s sake.
P.S. Do YOU tell other people’s kids how to act right when no one else is doing it?