En route to somewhere, I came upon a little lady of 3, sprawled on the sidewalk having a major meltdown. Imagine Kim Basinger at that age losing her cool, blonde tendrils draped on the pavement, a tiny butt perched in the air.
A patient father stood a few yards away while a pissed off mother waited at the corner.
Susannah, don’t get into this, I said, but we know me better than that.
“We women have issues,” I said, smiling at the dad. “Sometimes all we need is a great big hug to fix what ails us.”
He smiled in kind but stayed put, not heeding my suggestion.
I looked at this beautiful, unhinged kid kneeling to her level and said,”you’re such a pretty girl. Why are you crying when you’re so pretty?”
Her tears stopped in mid-stream proving once again, age doesn’t matter when vanity pays a call.
She stared at me with blazing blue eyes not knowing what to think. If I had to guess it would have been, who the hell are you, and why should you care.
After a moment of suspension, she started weeping again, but not as heartily…whimpering not screaming. A subtle mewl more than a wail.
Her dad, still in position, reached out his hand she slowly took after reluctantly getting up.
Her tights were dusty, so I rubbed mine inspiring her to do the same.
She was the cutest little heathen you’ve ever seen, already self-possessed knowing who she was and who she will undoubtedly grow up to be.
I walked backwards hoping her emotions would stay in check while her eyes never left me.
As I approached the mother still fuming at the corner, I thought…no lectures Susannah. She’s all of 30 clearly overwhelmed so try not to pass judgment on her style of mothering.
I’m not dealing with this. She needs to learn to behave. I could have had a career.
Yes, we know this type of parenting. It’s called…what the fuck was I thinking having children.
I sidled up to her grateful for the red light and said, “your daughter is so beautiful. I know she’s being bratty, but I’d still kill to have her.”
She thawed remembering what a blessing she gave birth to despite the baby breakdown smiling the same smile she passed onto her daughter.
I guess it takes a woman like me, never blessed with babies, to be able to open the eyes of a girl who has.