Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Request

If, tomorrow, you should per chance find yourself traveling your nation's airways, and you happen upon a mother traveling alone with three small children, please, I beg of you, think only the kindest of thoughts.

You'll know her when you see her. She'll be the one with stringy unkempt hair, grimly clinched jaw, and khaki cargo pants stained at both knees with what must be apple juice. She's sure to have a dazed, hallowness about her eyes as if she's spent the night watching air crash documentaries; reckoning and re-reckoning her own limbs divided by the total number, mass, and area of offspring, and imagining the worst.

Her children will shuffle limply in a tight arc around her. Wilted with fatigue, yet jittery with the bustle of modern jet propulsion, they'll communicate in a series of low, churning grunts and whines that will manage to be indecipherable yet lyrically eloquant at the same time. Their mother will be doing her best to ignore them entirely. You should do the same.

Yes. If you should happen upon this poor, haggard woman and her strange, keening brood, please spare them your impatience, your exasperation, and your churlish discontent. Rather, smile benignly and let them pass. They mean you no harm.

And alas, weary traveller, if you've been forsaken by the beneficence of St. Christopher, and you find yourself seated in front of this little family----

Hey look buddy, they're going to kick the seats. She's 6. She's 2. He's 4. And I'm holding it together with silly puddy right now, so that's just the way it's gonna be. Now I suggest you turn your evil-eye towards terrorism because I have nothing more to say to your sorry ass. Good day, Sir!

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