I was out with my three small boys at the sea front tonight and a very strange thing happened.
A little Saudi girl, about 2 years of age approached us, greeted us and started walking with us along the sea front.
I and the boys delighted, laughed, played with her and after a minute tried to hand her back to her mum and dad at their picnic spot on the grass verge. However, the toddler insisted again to walk with us.
We played this enjoyable game of walking with the little one for a short distance before returning her to the parents, but on reaching her mum and dad this 2 years old (still in diapers) insisted to walk with us again and again.
The father explained that his daughter called Liyane likes my beard, that her grandfather sports one in a similar way and that she really loves her grandad.
I persuaded the father to allow his 2 year old daughter Liyane to walk with us a while, to get an ice cream and that I’d bring her back in a while. He agreed.
Liyane was very happy. She walked by my side holding my finger enjoying exchanges and laughter with my boys as we walked.
We entered into the Mall, visited some shops, took ice cream and this little one never once got upset. She stayed with us as comfortable as ever, ate chips and ice cream having a wonderful time.
After about 40 -50 minutes, we left the Mall and we walked back to the picnic spot where we had first met her with mum and dad.
On seeing her mother, Liyane squealed and started to run away. Her mother approached us so as to take her 2 year daughter (naturally worried about her long absence) but, Liyane just screamed and cried.
She did not want to return to her mother, rather it was clear she was quite happy being with me and the boys.
In her mum’s arms, she started kicking and screaming, trying to get back to us.
My son too began to cry, and her mum was stunned and mystified. As we walked away from the family, we could still hear Liyane crying and protesting about her separation from us.
The meeting was the oddest occurrence I have ever experienced. It was as if we perfect strangers were her blood family and that we had cruelly abandoned her to a fate with strangers, her real mum and dad. Such were Liyane’s protestations.
I nearly cried myself along with my son and felt very moved by the complete trust and affection this little 2 year old girl had shown us in the hour or so we were together.
That little Liyane behaved so, is nothing short of amazing. That her parents allowed this toddler to leave with us not knowing us at all, is equally staggering. However, it did happen and it really made our evening. We missed her so much after we left.