Here I am once again on the number 6 train turtling downtown. If that announcement comes on one more time…we are being delayed by train traffic ahead of us, please be patient…I’ll find that announcer and pull his larynx out with pliers.
As I’m chanting the Serenity Prayer, a young, robust black woman gets on at the 51st Street stop with a little boy she’s dragging onto the car by his hood. My child abuse light without much ado flips right on.
While I watch her pull him along like a bulky parcel, I can feel myself start to twitch. Alright, so he was slightly pokey, but he’s six if he’s a day and I ask you, who exactly is enthusiastic at 6:30 in the morning…a cocaine addict perhaps, a Parisian who’s just landed?
I say give the kid a break, but Mama Pajama clearly left her patience in her other pants. Well they looked like pajamas, but on closer inspection were just very festive balloon inspired trousers, the kind chefs wear at Mexican restaurants. I bet her son was just plain dizzy having to look at them first thing in the morning.
I keep staring at the diamond pinned to her nose snidely thinking, ha…she must have missed her ear. Made me miss my diamond studs that were stolen from my very first sublet teaching me a hard lesson…always change the locks.
But I’m digressing…
This woman, after someone gets up, decides to move to the end seat assuming junior will follow, but he just sits where he is lost in a child’s own special reverie. I could see those wee wheels whimsically turning…free at last, free at last. However, if looks could kill he’d be back in the womb, so he reluctantly slides over…eyes rolling, dragging those stubborn, little feet.
Suddenly he starts to cough and without prompting from his mother, covers his mouth like a tiny gentleman. Well I’ll be damned, I think, she’s a good mom after all. Grown-ups nowadays don’t cover their mouths, that’s why New York has had an outbreak of tuberculosis particularly rampant on public transportation.
My feelings toward this woman swiftly change.
Children need to be taught and so often aren’t as we are witness to time and time again. Watching this little boy’s manners manifest make me see he’s a work in loving progress and his mother is on 24-hour duty making certain this happens.
If she were still in her pajamas, I can now see why. Training anyone whether it be a kid, an employee or a puppy can be exhausting.
Yes, I can admit when I’m wrong…
so my harsh eyes soften in her general direction as we continue turtling our way downtown…we are being delayed by train traffic ahead of us, please be patient.