February1, 2010

There was a huge group of children crossing the streets with their teachers.  The children were only knee high tall, and they had a string that they had to hold so that they were all moving in the same group.  There’s snow on the ground from yesterday’s snow storm in Washington.

I’m sitting in my car waiting for them to cross the street,  expecting to see the ennui in the eyes of the children that I’ve seen so often in privileged neighborhoods .  There are many things on my mind.  I’m older.  I have so many things to tend to.  I’m bound by all kinds of social etiquette.  I don’t know who these children are.  A boy who was about 3 years old in the group looked up and started waving at me.  He wore mittens and his hat covered his hair.   Of course I had to wave back.  Such a simple thing, but I felt self-conscious, hoping that no one was looking to see how corny it is to wave at a kid.  Such is the depth of my adult encumbrances.  But as I waved, the boy continued to wave, so now we’re waving at each other for fun, and it felt so sweet.  As if after one round of waving was enough for a life time, my adult instinct told me it was enough and to look away.  But the boy kept looking and even turned his head backwards so he could see what I was doing sitting behind the steering wheel.  A round face with brown eyes.  I couldn’t tell the race of the boy.  He started waving again even though his group kept moving; he kept pace with the group and kept looking back while holding on to the walking string.