Which child I druther be.

I’ve decided that I need to do more writing.  So many things are happening all around us.  This is a piece of writing that I did back in February and didn’t post out of … hm… out of shyness?  I suppose. But I don’t really care anymore…well, today, anyway…what you all think of me and this blog, so here you go:

 

There  were two mothers on the bus today.

The first, was a tall, brown-haired woman with a jowley jaw line that was asymmetrical.  She wore a blue scarf, a blue hat covering greasy, thin, brown bangs and  blue suede, Dr. Martin shoes that were all a similar dusky periwinkle color.  Her coat was a pale camel overcoat that reached to her mid shin.  As they got on, she gripped her little girl’s hand, helping her through the crowded bus.  She must have been about 5 or 6 years old and she wore layers of different shades of pink.  Her mother carried her vinyl-ey, cartoon covered book bag on her own shoulder, like a teenager in high school in the 90’s.   When she let go of her fist, she told the girl,  “I want you to hold really tightly onto the rail, ok?”  To which the girl said nothing through her equally jowley, but more symmetrical cheeks, and tried to do as her mother dictated.

A few moments later, as the mother tightly gripped the shoulder of her jacket, and the child gripped the shiny steel railing, the girl murmured, “This bus is bumpy…”  The two shared small conversations, brought on mainly by the mother, a seemingly deliberate act of social engagement with the rather spacey child.  The girl, meanwhile, complained, as a woman walked into her view of the reflective window that she was taking amusement in making gestures at and watching her reflection in.  The offending woman heard the frustration in her small voice and moved further on into the depths of the bus.  For another few moments the child stared at a dread-headed man next to her who was talking on his cell phone with headphones on, so he held no actual phone in his hand.  She stared for a few minutes while he talked, as if to himself, trying to figure out what was wrong with him.  Her rosy cheeks showing no embarassment at her forwardness.

I closed my eyes, slightly fearful that my piqued interest might offend or frighten the obviously tense and protective mother.  I imagined pulling out all the love I had received and felt throughout the day and radiating it toward these two foreign beings.  They seemed so insular, cold and confined to each other.  I wondered if they could feel my love for them.   I had the urge to talk to the girl, and had I been anywhere but Philadelphia, the East Coast in general, I would have joined into one of their little conversations.  But the mother seemed to look at everyone with a sense of fear so I refrained.  A few minutes later, after  they were about to get off the bus.  I opened my eyes, and watched them get off at Rittenhouse Square. Just before they got off, the mother tugged at the girls’ fluffy pink hood, but the girl shot her hands up, saying, “I can put it on myself!” in a defiant and annoyed tone.  Then the mother picked the capable child up from under her arms and lifted her down off of the bus.

A few moments later, the next set rolled down the aisle.  This mother wore a puffy, black, shiny  jacket that stopped short just at her waist, so that her round slim figure would not be covered.  Her dark hair was long and pulled back in a simple pony-tail going straight down her back.  She was young, about 20 or so, and the girl about 4.  The babe also wore a black puffy coat, but with brown faux fur on the rim of the hood, dark tights, and little black  Mary Jane shoes.  Her hair erupted in frizzy curls from under the hood of her jacket.

The mother held the girls’ hand as she giggled with delight at nothing in particular.  Then the little girl did a peculiar thing, writhing her back head back so that she was almost bent in half backwards, with nothing keeping her standing except her mothers pulled arm.  She went back and forth between a whiny moan and a joyful squeal.  The mother was slightly furious at this sudden display of hatha-yogic posture and fuss, and she reprimanded her strongly, “You are going to fall, stop it!”  But the child kept pulling and crying and reaching her other arm up as if she wanted to be lifted.  The mother told her again to stop but then simply let go of her hand saying,  “Alright then, fall.”  in a very nonchalant tone with no anger and no worry as she continued checking the messages on her phone.

The girl just stopped and held onto the rail with a slight whimper.  Then she simply looked around at everyone around her with quiet wonder and freedom.  When it was time for them to leave the bus, the mother grabbed her hand and pulled her along gently, hopping her down off the bus with one hand, and saying “Come on”.

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