Wifey was very moved by an experience she had on the train the other day. Here’s the 4-1-1, in her words:
An attractive man, with two small daughters in tow, got on the crowded 3 train at 14th Street today. It was rush hour, and few seats were available. But riders scrambled to make room for the young family. Two people immediately jumped up, offering their seats. A third slid over to make enough room for the family to sit together.
The children—two-and-a-half-year-old twins, I would later learn—were fidgety, so their father began to sing songs to them in French. His daughters’ delighted giggles filled the train with contagious laughter and smiles. He proceeded to entertain the girls with animal names and sounds.
“What does the cat say?” he asked his daughters, still in French.
“MEOW, MEOW, MEOW!” they bellowed, in unison.
“What does the dog say?” he asked.
“WOOF, WOOF, WOOF!” they yelled, breaking into hysterical giggles.
“Et la vache?” asked the stranger next to them.
“MOOOOOOOOO!” they responded, and we all laughed a bit harder, the entire subway car now enchanted by the girls.
The woman exchanged pleasantries in French with the father, then exited the train at the next stop. A man took her seat.
The girls eventually bored of animal sounds and became restless. Zoey, as her father called her, removed her Velcro shoes and defiantly refused to put them back on. Her father asked nicely in both French and English. Zoey protested. He tried to put them back on her feet himself. She screamed. Throwing his hands up, he tossed the shoe onto the seat beside her, defeated.
The man next to them, who had been scrolling through his Blackberry, suddenly turned to the girls and showed them a picture on his phone.
“These are my two girls,” he started. “They’re about your age.”
“They always keep their shoes on when they’re on the subway. The floor is very dirty and you have to keep your feet clean.”
The girls looked around for affirmation. The train full of strangers nodded and smiled, sharing the secret. The children’s father shot the man a grateful look.
“Yes,” the man continued, “you have to listen to your dad because he’s very smart. He knows that the floor will make your pretty feet dirty.”
Zoey considered this, as did her sister, then cheerfully put her shoes back on, compromising with the removal of her socks instead. Her father breathed a sigh of relief and tucked her socks into his bag.
He gathered his girls at the Clark Street station and readied to leave.
“Elles sont tres mignon,” I offered, grinning.
“Merci,” he replied, and exited the train with his girls.
The strangers on the train exchanged smiles that lasted all the way to the next station, where I disembarked with a happy heart.
If that doesn’t make you say, “awwww,” then you’re not human.
Good job, wifey. Thanks for helping me fill some space :)