Don’t Make Eye Contact

October 8, 2009

There was this one time when Scott was about 8 months old… We were at the post office waiting in line to ship something and in walked a man and got in line behind me. He looked homeless, he smelled, and I didn’t want to talk to him. My thought process was, “Don’t make eye contact with the scary man. Please Scott, don’t start pointing at him. PLEASE DON’T MAKE HIM NOTICE US.” Of course, Scott leans over my shoulder, smiles his biggest grin, and starts “talking”. The man starts laughing. I have no choice, but to turn around and say hi. He tells me how cute my baby is, how beautiful his smile is, how lucky I am. Then he tickles Scott’s foot and says to him, “You made my day.”

Basically same thing happened to me and Nate the other day.

That combined with my friend and I out to dinner the other night talking about how we should be volunteering and aren’t and she said, “I think we get more jaded as adults.” My first thought was, “Speak for yourself lady.” Later as I was thinking about it, I wondered… Have I gotten more jaded?

I don’t know if it is more jaded or just less naïve or maybe I am just making excuses for myself. My first thought when I see a homeless person is not, “I should help.” It is more along the lines of, “Are my doors locked? Okay, don’t make eye contact.” Part of this I know is because I am no longer responsible for just me. But I look back on my college and pre kids days and some of the things I did, I would never dream of doing now. I remember on me and Mike’s first date in college, on our way back to my apartment, we drove by a group of teenagers who were walking down the street, Mike pulled over, asked if they needed a ride (the last bus had already come for the night), they piled in, and Mike dropped them off before taking me home. I would never in a million years do that now. I think of the places I went into to volunteer that I wonder what I was thinking and thank God that nothing ever happened to me. I remember the places I went alone at night and now think of how I always contemplate having security walk me to my car at the mall when I am there at night with the kids. Is part of this just growing up? Is it good or bad? Am I jaded? Maybe this is why I keep saying I want to volunteer and not doing it. I feel like I should, but I don’t really want to.

In college, I really in my heart believed I was changing someone’s life. Now, I even look back on my job pre kids and wonder if I really made a difference. There were some families, I knew didn’t listen to a word I said, but I also knew, I was the only person that week that was going to check on the baby.

Anyways, I don’t really have a conclusion to this. I just wonder about it. I wonder what the right thing to do is.


3 Responses to “Don’t Make Eye Contact”

  1. Liz Says:

    I think being cautious is just being smart. You prevent what you can, you live with the rest.

  2. Kristin Says:

    I think volunteering is great…but I too find it very hard to get motivated to actually walk the walk. As far as not doing anything…As I read this I thought to myself. “Cori, you are doing something. You give yourself, unselfishly to your family everyday. You volunteer your time every day all day. So don’t get down on yourself too much”;)

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