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November 3, 2009

by the Accidental Commuter

I caught a glimpse of a sh li’s future children this evening. I was on the train coming home from school when a rather attractive father boarded with his two little ones at the Lindbergh station. I was sitting perpendicular to the seats that are designated for people with disabilities. As the children got on the train I heard a very calm, reassuring voice say “guys there aren’t any seats next to the window but we can sit here” as the three sat down. I felt like I should get up. I was sitting next to a window and obviously depriving children of joy. They were pretty cute children, too. The little boy seemed to be about five or six years old and the little girl, who had a flower painted on her face, was about two. They both had a minor physical disability but it only made them more adorable.

Once they were settled in their father pulled something out of his backpack and handed it to his son (I couldn’t tell what it was because I had a book out and was pretending to read.) Then he asked his little girl “would you like a train, too?” Really? Not cars, not a Barbie, not even Thomas the Train but little, authentic-looking metal trains. Totally something that A’s unborn children would do. Anyway, his daughter took the red train but then requested the “gween” one. She started crashing them together making choo-choo noises and repeating the word “twain.” It was cute overload *and* I got to listen to the disordered/underdeveloped speech patterns of a two-year old. Marta must be quite a treat in this little family, as I imagine it would be in the future, hypothetical family that A. could have with one of her transit-loving boyfriends. The little boy asked if they could ride Marta to the park this weekend the way that I would have asked my parents if we could go back to that place up in North Georgia where people in hospital scrubs pull Cabbage Patch Kids out of little fabric heads of cabbage in a little cabbage nursery. Later on when the boy was acting up a simple “if you keep doing that we’re going to get off at the next station” was all that had to be said to get the kid back in line.
I remember once when I was about four my mom had to go to a meeting on a Saturday and I asked my dad to help me put my socks on. Different generation I guess. Anyway, mad props to Hot Marta Dad for taking public transportation with two small children in tow and providing unobtrusive entertainment for them that had nothing to do with Disney or Dora the Explorer.
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