Sometime last week, must have been a Tuesday, I was taking my little girl to school. Every morning, since the day her big brother went to junior high, it would be just the two of us making the trip, taking the metro.
Anyway, that morning, there were a lot of people, I mean a lot, too many, on the Line 9 platform. As the train, which was late, came to a stop, the mad crowd pushed Alice away from me. So she went in with the flow, looking back over her shoulder every now and then to make sure I was still there. The mob was so strong and compact in the train that I couldn’t catch up with her.
Later, as we reached our station and, still carried by the crowd, made it to the sidewalk, Alice found herself a few yards ahead of me and didn’t slow down to wait. She knew the way to school, of course. I saw her so happy and proud to be on her own that I didn’t quicken my pace. I was heartbroken.
She trotted ahead of me and, once in front of the school, she turned around, waved me ‘bye-bye’ and off she went. I was left standing.
The next day morning, the metro wasn’t crowded but Alice jumped out of the train anyway and went on trekking. That day, she didn’t look back, other than when it was time to wave goodbye.
The next day, the train wasn’t crowed at all but Alice flew out of it as if she owned the place. So, again, I let her go ahead.
Today, Monday, she must have forgotten through the week-end her new smart aleckness and, right out of the train, I felt her little hand into mine.
Just like before.
So, today, I walked her to school as slowly as I could, holding her hand.
To no avail I knew; tomorrow, and if not tomorrow very soon, Alice will remember her newfound freedom.
At least I saw it live when she cut that string.
It hardly helps.
First published December 30, 2014
Edited January 17, 2016