Friday, April 25, 2008

Peter Pan Pilgrims

Reentering Brooklyn by myself with the three kids on a Peter Pan Bus via the Never Never land of I-95 went better than expected. While the woman sitting just ahead seemed to flinch every time my kids took a breath, she settled down and started drawing some odd and sloppy sketches on some plain sheets of paper she had brought on the bus in a folder. She was more pleasant than the person who sat in front of us on the way up to my mother's house in Rhode Island on Tuesday, yes I was very proud of myself for opting not to drive the minivan up on Earth day. Are you proud of me too? But the woman in front did not seem proud of me at all, and she got annoyed when my older daughter started reading aloud to my son because she was trying to sleep. So they moved back and she got her nap and there was no more trouble until my daughter told me that someone was a little brisk with her when she was trying to pick up something she dropped.

I was wondering if anyone was going to do anything but get annoyed. Years ago I traveled to Indiana from DC by train and when I got there, my boyfriend's friend, who was like the town saint, asked me if I helped any mothers with their little children en route. I think I just stared at him blankly. The thought had never crossed my mind. And believe me I'm not alone in my oblivion and self-absorption. There's definitely justice in the fact that I now get to experience it from the other side.

Someone was nice. Just before we got to Port Authority I noticed the person sitting behind me sort of moving into my space and I assumed she was going to tell me that one of my kids had dropped something. But it was an elderly woman who simply needed to stretch her leg. Then she asked me about the subway system, how it worked in NYC. That was kind of a wide question, so I insisted on knowing where she was going and how. She and her companion were headed for a 50 year reunion of some kind of nurses association and needed to get to Methodist Hospital in Park Slope. Easy question now, I know that place, I had a baby there. A baby that for some reason was extremely red in appearance.

I told them exactly what to do. Then all the sudden they were handing my son a bag of jelly beans, asking if it was alright. Wow, someone in the world still likes children. 2 70 year old nurses, and perhaps a few others. Good to remember when it seems that most everyone who has something to say to you is self-absorbed, ornery and often judgemental.


louise crawford said...

your apartment looks beautiful! Love reading yr stuff. Louise (

amarilla said...

Oh, thanks LC! That's my mom's place in RI. Unfortunately, my place isn't as open and bright and organized as that. But I'm working on it.

City Mouse said...

I take the bus a lot (up and down to and from the North Country), and the one thing I am reminded of every single time is this - Kids on the bus are almost always a pleasure compared to how some of the adults behave.