Today I had one of those moments as a parent where something profound comes over you. I don't know about you, but, I'm the kind of parent that doesn't have this happen too often. I'm amazed by my children all the time, I just rarely have that wave of the universe of life change come over me. I love it when it happens.
I took my daughter on the NYC subway for the first time. We took the 5 from mid-town to downtown Manhattan. On the return, we took a more circuitous route. The outbound was fairly sparse as the pic shows. The return was super packed.
I watched my little girl connect with something. She could feel the lives around her.
She heard everything. From the tantruming 5-year-old on the platform, to the "sorry about that" uttered from a nearly 7-foot tall Goth who charged through the closing door of our already sardine-packed car, and loomed over us for 10 mins. From the songs being sung, to the Spanish being spoken.
She saw everything. The drunk. The bicyclists. The businessmen. The chirping tweenage girls. The nannies. The friends going to lunch.
She felt a half-dozen strangers smashing up against her short self, and she smelled it just the same.
She quietly whispered her thoughts and questions to me from time to time.
By the time to head back home, she was insisting on taking the subway. I personally got over the "fun" of the subway years ago (perhaps sadly), but for her of course, we did it.
About half-way through the day it all hit me. Her perspective on people and life and density and cities was shifting right before me. She wanted to "take the subway" in order to absorb more of it all.
Such a beautiful moment. Get your kid on a big-city subway.