She turned her attention to the junky purse and wrestled out a book of short stories she was finally becoming attached to. But soon after she finished the second paragraph, the bus stopped at fourteenth street. A lady walked on the bus, and the young women took her eyes from the pages of the book and they followed the buxom curly-haired woman with a toddler slung on her side like a little monkey. They of course sat down right next to her.
The baby boy was probably a little over a year—18 months. (Have you ever noticed that mothers of young children always refer to the age of their children in months? I mean, who wants to do the math when you know they’re two-years-old. I think it’s another element of being in the mom clan. Another way to cliquishly separate themselves from the women without children—without child). He was a cute little nugget, nonetheless, but he had an awful cough. Especially for being such a tiny chunk of human.
“I’m probably going to get sick from sitting next to this kid.” the young woman thought.
The child was fiery. He persistently kicked his feet and squirmed around saying words that even he knew weren’t actual words. His mother spoke back to him in her native language asking, “What are you saying, baby boy?” And the toddler laughed while he continued to squirm, cough, and kick with his bite-size red converse high-tops. The mother apologized to the young lady; she had somehow gotten into the crossfire’s of his kicks. But the young woman didn’t mind. If fact, it was kind of nice to have some contact with a baby. It had been a while since she’d been around those cute little things. So she reached out to touch his silky and chubby legs— as a way of communicating to the mother that the child did not offend her.
Her smile slowly, naturally dropped from her face while she retired to the rejected book on her lap. Avoiding awkward conversation. And as she brought her attention to that same paragraph of trivial and emotional nonsense, the elder woman with the aqua blue leather jacket got off at the next stop. An end of an era.