The woman made a face at her crying son, already exasperated after his fifteen second tantrum. Her hair was frazzled, her clothes ratty, and her mascara ran down her face in rivers. She shoved the boy into his stroller with more force than she meant to, and then, holding her head high, began down the street at a steady pace. As she met the glances of people skirting around them, she began to tune out the world. Her eyes glazed over, and she didn’t notice as the boy unbuckled his useless safety belt. “Mama! My truck!” The boy rushed out after his runaway toy, into the busy intersection, in front of an oncoming SUV. The woman snapped to attention, racing after her son, her high heels click-clacking as she ran. She wrapped her arms around the boy and yanked him to the sidewalk, receiving a slice off her shin in the process. She hugged him close to her as the SUV roared by, honking its oversized horn. As she choked back a sob, her little boy whispered, “Mommy, I love you”.
September 23, 2009