On Wednesday afternoon, I was trundling down the steps of the 23rd street stop, a 20-something-pound baby strapped to my chest, an unwilling and tired toddler reluctantly holding my hand as she precariously teetered from steep step to steep step, a backpack stuffed to the brim with my daughter’s toddler backpack, formula, wipes, and other essentials affixed to my back, and a collapsed stroller slung over my other arm — and though there are far graver burdens to bear and though even in that moment I thought “I will one day look back at this with a mix of bemusement and admiration” — my desperation must have caught your eye, because you ran down the steps two at a time —
“Ma’am, ma’am!” you called. I turned, thinking you were restoring to me an errant mitten or rejected pacifier, and instead found you extending your arms:
“Can I help?”
Would it be unbecomingly melodramatic to admit that I cried to Mr. Magpie later that night, positively overwhelmed by your goodness and earnestness, even and especially when you appeared to be all of fourteen, and a pack of your ungainly friends were clustered not far away, and I am assured that such attributes are not a cool look on a pubescent teen?
Would it be too vitriolic a remonstrance to add that you offered me this generosity in spite of the fact that many other able-bodied adults sprinted right by me?
I wonder, sometimes, if gender politics are to blame for the determined aversion to the surrendering of seats on the subway to a mother laden with small children or to an expecting mother unwieldy on her feet, but that is neither here nor there, because today I want to simply say —
Thank you, to the boy at the 23rd street stop.
You humbled me, you made my day, and you also prompted me to wonder about your parents, and the wonderful people they must be, and the entire episode left me blearily optimistic and determined to instill the same helpfulness in my children.
+And a not-so-lovely interaction with a stranger as I navigated a similar challenge. (Your comments on this post were stirring. They made me re-think the entire incident.)
+I need more pairs of skinnies with stretch in them for looking after my little ones. I am a J. Brand devotee but am going to test out this $68 pair (less than half the price of my favorites from J. Brand!) after reading many many positive reviews!
+These gingham rompers are on sale for only $18! Just ordered in the khaki for micro.
+If you are an Ugg-lover, Nordstrom has tons of styles on sale, including these cute ones for littles for 50% off!
+Speaking of Uggs: Uggs, but fashion. I own a pair of similar boots from Isabel Marant that I wear more than I probably should. They are essentially Uggs but feel a bit dressier…and OMG I WISH THESE WERE IN MY SIZE THEY ARE SO GOOD.
+I have a hard time finding cotton peter pan collar tops for mini — just ordered this $13 style and will report back!
+We are ordering upholstered dining chairs. Ordering one of these for mini STAT.
+The above was a reminder of this Henry James quote.
+THIS STRIPED BLOUSE! Very Mark D. Sikes, for little ones.
+I own this shrunken hoodie and it is now on sale for only $24!
+Crazy flash sale at J. Crew — extra 60% off select styles, including this bejeweled cardigan, which brings the price down to $35 or something! Also included in the promo: one of my favorite black sweaters (I own this exact style), mini’s winter coat (she owns the iced orchid color), a classic sweater (mini owns in the cheery red), and this chic coat that I might order for mini for next winter.