Commuting by public transit often means watching harried and/or bitter parents square off against whining and/or hyperactive children. There's this one man, though, who appears on the bus from time to time and restores my faith in humanity and parenting. He's a good-looking guy, black, tied-back dreadlocks, trimmed beard, jeans and blazer chic. The kind of long fingers fandom loves to write about. He holds his blonde, pint-sized daughter in his lap and talks quietly to her while she babbles about her day and asks questions about what's on and outside the bus. He hugs her and lets her squirm and poke his face while being sure not to disturb the neighbors.
Today, she exclaimed about some cranes at a construction site and he introduced her to the concept of an excavator. Later, she asked, "Who's that?" about some stranger on the sidewalk. Instead of sighing and saying, "I don't know," like the weary mother on last week's ride who gave up on her son's constant "Why?"s, he said, "That's a man with a cane." Then he added, "His name is Harold." And, when she asked about someone else nearby, "That girl went skiing and she fell down. She hurt her foot. That's why she has crutches. It's been a few weeks, though, so she's going to get better soon."
I wanted to turn to him and tell him how much I enjoy seeing them on the bus, but chickened out, in part because he had responded to her sudden restlessness with another bear hug that made her laugh, and my eyes stung with tears.
Inspired in part by a recent conversation with childhood friend disgruntledowl, I wrote to two favorite English teachers from high school this afternoon about maybe getting a drink in our hometown over Thanksgiving. Despite our not having communicated in about 10 years except for one email exchange when I lived in Maryland, one of them, P., whom some of you may remember from reminiscences during the Memoryfest days?, responded within two hours. ♥
(Pleased to discover from a Google search that he's still a hottie. :) That's him holding the plaque.)
A lecturer at work today spoke about, basically, performative positivity on Facebook and how comparing yourself to others' carefully curated online lives can damage your mental and physical health. Nothing new, but it's got me thinking about the potential effects of my own recent attempts to focus on the happier aspects of my life in this journal. I hope that hasn't contributed to any of your discontents. Let it be known that my life beyond these posts is not all unicorns and rainbows, heh. ("Heh.") Focusing on positives here has been helping me counterbalance troubles at work and some unhealthy thought patterns.