It’s 8:15 am. I am riding the M60 bus back from LaGuardia Airport after seeing my mother off on her way back to Chicago. She has just spent 5 days with her first grandchild — my son is about 3 weeks old. For those uninitiated, there are dog days of new parenthood. The lack of sleep easily creates delusional behavior and any notion of rest is received like water in the Sahara. Self doubt and ideas of neglectful parenting begin to haunt as one learns the habits of their new roommate.
Halfway through the trip, a mother and her son sit next to me. I generally don’t engage children on public transportation. The crowds and germs are a nightmare for me as an adult and I’m sure parents are equally cautious of strangers breathing on — let alone touching — their child. I return to my much anticipated nap.
I wake to a light but consistent weight on my arm. It’s the little boy. He can be no older than two years. His messy blonde hair is brushed away from his enormous blue eyes. Intent overshadows his innocence. He is staring serenely at me as if to affirm my existence. I smile. He doesn’t smile back. He only stares.
His messy blonde hair is brushed away from his enormous blue eyes. Intent overshadows his innocence. He is staring serenely at me as if to affirm my existence.