I’m on the number 6 headed downtown. It’s mid morning way past rush hour so I easily get a seat. Having been up most of the night exhaustion led me by the hand causing my eyes to close taking what I refer to as an airplane nap, just on the train.
A kid sitting across from me is screaming at his mother. He wanted her iPhone she apparently was not about to give him. He cried, screamed…stamped his feet. One could say it was an assault on the whole car. Trying desperately to tune him out, I hear him now ask for water that was more of a demand. “GIMME WATER…I WANT WATER….MAAAM.”
My eyes fly open like shades shooting up a window remembering an unopened bottle of Poland Spring in my bag.
I lean over to his mother who’s looking pale and embarrassed and say, “Excuse me, I have a bottle of water,” brandishing it in my hand, “could I offer it to your son?” I did my best to keep the edge out of my voice pretending he wasn’t the kid from hell.
He can’t be more than five or six with the biggest brown eyes cautiously blinking not missing a trick. Hispanic kids often resemble short, handsome men putting this boy in that category.
The mom nods her permission, so I look at this kid and say, “You seem to be having a tough train ride. I’d like to give this to you,” holding up the water, “but you need to promise me something.”
He just kept staring those massive eyes fastened on my face. “Promise me you’ll have a happy day, no matter what.”
Knowing a reply was a long shot, I just forked over the bottle.
Finally, silence…he takes something from his Spiderman backpack that keeps him occupied. Three stops later he and his mother get off. But before they do, he hands me a little folded piece of paper. I wait for them to leave before opening it.
It’s a penciled drawing of a bottle with a smile in its center that says…
Than yu laddee fram Edwardo
I share it with some of the other riders who all smile.
Kids, even the ones allegedly from hell, are always worth the trouble.