Strangest thing happened today. After the gym and a shower, went to a bagel shop in the ‘burbs. I’m hating the suburbs; the vanilla just doesn’t tingle the taste buds of a girl who's strawberry swirl in a sugar cone. I'm too big now for how little it's become. Everyone looks the same (white), dresses the same (too casual, too light washed jeans). Everyone is the same. There’s a glint of gold on the left ring finger of every man sitting with a woman not even trying with lip gloss, hair in a pony.
But that’s another Oprah.
Having finished the morning paper and lox on bagel, I gather my things to leave. Heading out the door, buttoning up my white fitted pea coat, I spot a tiny, almost-toe-headed-with-a-touch-of-amber girl on the sidewalk outside. She’s two or so, just old enough to stand wobbly in one spot in front of a non-descript SUV (“Sport” my ass; the “S” means “Suburban”). I immediately realize and understand a parent is nearby, and from peripheral vision see a man wrestling an even tinier girl from a car seat in the back passenger side.
None of that is the strange.
The second I emerged from the shop, this little creature on the sidewalk locked on my eyes and said, “Mommy. Mommy.” Half statement, half question, over and over again in a sweet voice so soft the man couldn’t hear her. I couldn’t not look at her, turning as I walked by, smiling the whole way.
There was no woman in or around the car. Did the man have no wife, single Dad, widower? Did I represent or portray the softness and beauty and nurturing of a woman that strongly to that girl? Maybe her Mom was/is a tall, caring and loving redhead who smiles back at blue green eyes.
I’ve never seen Mommy in me. I don't want to be the Mommy. Yet those seconds broke and warmed my heart, that reflection back from a factory fresh, cleanly scrubbed soul.
I don't know if I ever felt more alone.