Now that bug and I commute on Wednesday mornings to Clarke via subway and bus, we have all sorts of new friends. The mothers who lean over and tell me what “a cute boy” I have (umm.. she’s wearing PINK but thank you really) and the grandmothers who sit down to tell me all about their ailments and what the bus used to cost. The guy with no sense of personal space as he asks me where we’re going, why are we going, how often do we go, and more. It’s a world of entertainment, that crosstown bus.
Yesterday though, was a new experience for us. See.. the New York weather hasn’t really been showing up for us consistently. Wednesdays there’s always weather or it dips down into the 50s or 60s and bug wears a hat. Bug has about 50 hats, so most comments are on how cute the hats are. But with a winter hat, that meant no baha on during our commute. Yesterday was warm enough for shorts AND our baha. So we put on our double baha, with it’s gigantic clips (c’mon Cochlear… can those clips be any larger!) and off we went.
I expected there to be a reaction… what I wasn’t expecting was my response. People stared, they whispered to their bus buddy, and then a few folks asked “What is all that stuff on her head?”. As if I’d waited all my life to answer this question…. I instantly beamed “they’re hearing aids!" I then loudly exclaimed "she hears better than we do now!” And the man smiled and commented on how cool technology is now, and I continued to beam at him as if to say “ask me more… don’t you want to know the structure of our inner ear?" A few people asked me over the course of our trip and each time I was as happy and excited to tell them. I’m a happy person, but in typical New York fashion… I don’t talk to strangers on my commutes. When I thought about someone asking about Landon… I also always assumed I’d be defensive. That my words would have an edge to them to get people to back off. Offended they’d even go there. Instead, I wanted to talk about it all. On our ride home, there were more stares. A couple looks of pity flung at me. I smiled right back at them. Kill ‘em with kindness. See this smile? Look how amazing my baby is.
A guy got on our train home and he just looked a little lost. You know those people in New York- he just seemed like the day or the world got a hold of him by the ankles. He had his head down, hair overgrown, piercings and all black clothes, headphones on and a sad look on his face. After a few moments, he looked at Landon and tilted his head to the right to check out her "gear”. She looked right back at him and gave him the biggest smile she’s could along with an “ahhhhhhhhh”. The guy lit up like a Christmas tree. She just knows, my bug, when someone needs a special smile.
She doesn’t care who stares or whispers. I won’t either. I will keep on smiling. Keep on showing her that you handle this brutal world with love and kindness. By sharing your story, not hiding it or being embarrassed by it.
This journey has certainly made me a better person. Bug has made me stronger and happier. Months ago, I would have left that commute in a puddle- crying over the stares or questions. Unable to cope with the world judging us. Now…Landon has given me resilience. Joy in telling our tale. Joy in brightening someone’s day who I’d probably have scooted away from in the past. So much joy.
We then came home where she practiced her best downward dog for most of the afternoon while she destroyed the living room. Amazing this kid…