Sometimes it pays to pay attention, other times you wish otherwise, like this morning.
I was coming back from the Park when I spot two little kids no more than 3 standing near a parked car. First of all, they were the cutest mini couple you ever did see not to mention flagrantly fashionable.
The boy had on khakis, a button down with the collar flipped up and a brown bomber jacket zipped half way. His hair was on the long side with wild wisps catching the wind. The young lady, who I figured was his sister, had on black tights and a turtleneck with a bright red poncho that hit her at the knee. They were an ad if I ever saw one. She had a braid that was more than a little optimistic since it was the length of your pinkie but somehow it worked on her.
As I approached them I slowed my step purposely so I could stare at them a bit longer they were that precious. I then noticed they had what looked like candy cigarettes and were pretending to smoke. I couldn’t believe it. Part of me thought it was very funny, the other, pretty tragic.
They must have learned this from their parents since they mimicked so well. I look up and see a young woman slam down the trunk of her Mercedes Wagon who started speaking to the kids in fast French.
Ah-ha, I thought, that explains it since the French all seem to smoke. You see and hear them on the Avenue, mostly tourists, with children in tow puffing away as if lung disease only happens on this side of The Atlantic.
And no, I didn’t start lecturing her on the perils of tobacco but the image of little Lindbergh and Gigi feigning smoke rings may never leave me.
They were so wee and innocent as we all were at their tender age. They will no doubt be fashion stricken, beautifully bi-lingual and serial smokers when they grow up and I do hope I’m wrong concerning two of those things.
I did tell Madam what adorable children she had. “Oui, merci” she said, quickly snapping into staccato English. “They-are-a-handful,” accent on ful.
And I see Nicotine patches in their future. No I didn’t say that either, I was good and believe me when I say, it practically killed me.
After all, our parents are our first and most influential role models. This is why I wipe my shoes off before they go back into the closet and line my wastebaskets with newspaper. I saw my mother do it over and over and over again.
Of course she drank too much as well which had the opposite effect but you can’t always count on that happening.
I sometimes wonder what kind of a mother I would have been. I assume a terrible one since I can’t imagine having a responsibility that comes with an 18 year commitment. The closest I’ve come is adopting a cat but they don’t need changing and burping or help with their homework.
On the other hand I know one thing about myself, I’d be aware of what I was doing and smoking would be right up there with stealing and shooting smack.
I stayed deep in thought as I made my way home thinking of those two little French kids and children in general. What can one really say?
They’re at the mercy of our judgment till that job becomes theirs.
Perhaps we’re the handful, accent on hand.