a parenting microstory…
It’s always great to visit my sister. I happily fly with son and baby daughter to spend a few days while hubby goes to his conference. What an exciting trip; a plane! And city adventures with Aunty!
That day, after we saw at the chickens at the organic market, Aunty and I took the children into the city on the tram. We were having a good day. Melbourne is one great town.
Almost home. “Our stop” says Aunty. I stand up and hold the buggy as the tram slows to a halt and the doors hiss open. Kind Aunty helps with the sticky brake and we are off.
Except we’re not. The tram doors close in front of us and the tram begins it’s race to the next stop.
My breath slams in my throat as I realise my well travelled little son has got off the tram before us. He now stands alone. In the middle of a busy road.
“Aar” I squawk. My throat is scared shut. Aunty sprints down the corridor of the tram and bangs on the driver’s window. This achieves nothing. Is he actually a robot? He’s not turning around. Why is that? By now the other tram passengers realise our plight and send sympathy. We bang and yell en masse.
But the tram continues on; the driver oblivious.
We suffer an agonising wait until the stop. Aunty is at the front of the tram and I am at the back with the cumbersome buggy. Now I am weeping, so aware of the many scenarios that could be unravelling right now for my son.
We are out of the train in seconds and running up the road. Aunty has all the bags but can still run faster than me with the buggy. She is ahead. I shout “Run!” She shouts “I am running!” I shout “Drop the bags!” “OK!” She does run a bit faster without those bloody bags but those bloody heels hinder her. Why does she have her fast feet covered up?
We screech round the corner. I strain to see a small boy safe at the side of the road. I can’t see him. Jesus where is he?
Aunty is ahead. She gets to him first. He is crying. She is crying. We are all crying. There is a woman with him. She had seen him alone and little and waited with him. Thank goodness for fallen angels. I ask him if he knew we’d come straight back. “Yes”, he says.
“Were you scared?” I ask. “Yes”, he says. “What was the worst bit?”
“Crossing the road by myself.”