Riding on the bus this morning, minding my own business, reading from my phone, I heard a thud. A rolling sound. And I looked down to see a sippy cup was rolling toward me. Just as it was about to strike my boot I plucked it up, and smiling, reached back and across the isle to hand it to the father of the little little boy who’d dropped it. The father smiled and nodded a silent thank you. The little little boy stared at me. Wide eyed. He was on the bus already when I boarded and paid me no mind, but from the moment I returned his sippy cup his little little bus world changed. Expanded ever so slightly to include the woman who held his cup in her hand ever so briefly. He let his eyes settle upon me in the unabashed way that children may do and I smiled and turned away.
But the eyes didn’t seem to shift from me. I glanced over my shoulder. There were those brown eyes open impossibly wide. He sat on his father’s lap, body facing his dad with his head turned almost too far to be comfortable. Staring. I turned around again feeling the little little boy’s eyes on the back of my head. And so it went as the bus headed over the river and into downtown. After a while I forgot about the wide little eyes that had rested upon me so intently and absorbed myself in reading until he and his father walked past me to leave the bus. I watched them go, the boy hiding his face as they passed. And I found myself looking around at the hustle and bustle of downtown, getting my bearings, guessing how much longer until my stop and I was just about to look back down into my lap to be absorbed in words when a motion caught my eye.
It was the little little boy. Still in his father’s arms. Smiling. Waving. Looking right at me and saying Bye bye! Bye bye!
It’s strange sometimes how we touch the world of others. And how they touch ours.