When I was walking into the hospital this afternoon I spotted the sweetest looking little girl - maybe a little over a year old (or 2 years old? I'm bad at aging babies) - she had those chubby wobbly legs that are so darling. Her blond hair was pulled up into messy pigtails - she was wearing a dirty little pink polka-dotted dress. I was so taken with her that I couldn't take my eyes off of her - made me think about Clara. Naturally. (well not the messy or dirty parts actually)
I found myself smiling ear to ear as I watched this pretty toddler walking, holding the hand of her father (or uncle? or whomever?). Until I noticed something peculiar - much to my HORROR this little sweet thing wasn't wearing shoes. Here was a baby - waddling along the street - on HOT BLACK ASPHALT with her delicate teeny feet. My jaw dropped open...I stared in disbelief. What the bloody hell. Asphalt? Baby skin? Summer sun? Not OK.
I walked by a nurse who was witnessing the same atrocity - she was shaking her head and said to me, "what is he thinking?". My eyes welled up. I can't stop thinking about that little girl. I see all kinds of strange child neglect and abuse working in the hospital system - and it literally kills me every time.
*I should note that this was not a hospital visitor walking to and from the hospital...these folks were out strolling or running errands.