Something really nice happened to me and my little guys the other day.
My older son, Luca, loves “double buses”. Aka articulated buses, aka accordion buses. We have this trek that we like to take involving the Dufferin bus (but ONLY a double bus), up to Dufferin Park. We could easily walk to the park, but Luca is obsessed with Double Buses so I pack the boys up a few times a week to take this special trip. If a regular, single bus comes, we skip it and wait for the Double Bus. It’s all a part of the fun.
A couple of weeks ago, we had an less-than-happy bus driver on our special route. She didn’t lower the bus for us. I had a buggy with the baby in it, plus my 3 year old who needed my assistance stepping up onto the bus. With the bus not lowered (as it normally is), it made it very challenging for us to board the bus. I had to try to angle the buggy up to reach it onto the bus, and then pick up my son to get on, without losing the buggy, but also angle the buggy to the side to let other people on, but also try to hold my 3 year old’s hand so he didn’t run away from me, which he was trying to do. In the midst of this struggle, I forgot to put Luca’s bus ticket in.The driver impatiently yelled at me about that, and I quickly apologized and inserted the ticket- which was in my hand the whole time, as I was quite frazzled by the whole fiasco to try to get on! And then, once our stop came, we tried to edge towards the front doors, since the back doors are impossible to exit through when you have a buggy and toddler. One needs to hold the back doors open the whole time, and try to maneuver the buggy and toddler out of the doors while holding the doors open constantly; it’s next to impossible.
So, we were near the front of the bus trying to get out through the front doors, and a whole bunch of people started boarding. The big group of people all of a sudden walking toward us, crowding around us was making it impossible for us to get off. My 3 year old started crying, saying, “We’re trapped! We’re trapped!” Eventually someone saw that we were trying to exit and made some room, and we did get off (after struggling to get off again, because bus wasn’t lowered. Of course.)
It was not the best of our Double Bus experiences, and left me a bit traumatized, to be honest! But a few days later Luca was begging me to go on our special trek again- Double Bus then Dufferin Park, so, I decide to give it another shot. This time around, the bus was way busier than usual. It was weird because I only take public transit with a buggy during “off hours”, but for whatever reason, the bus was unusually packed this day. People were nice though. Someone gave up their seat so I could sit with Luca on my lap and the buggy pulled up next to us. A woman behind us was playing games with baby Leo, trying to make him laugh. Despite the busyness , people were being nice. Patient. The bus had even lowered when it had picked us up.
Upon getting off the bus though, we had some issues. As we approached the front of the bus, there was a young foreign couple with about 4 large pieces of luggage with them. It became apparent very fast that our buggy wasn’t able to fit past the luggage to get out. Luca started crying again, and then, something magical happened. Someone said, “I’ll help,” and the weight of the buggy was all of a sudden lifted up, way up, so that the buggy was over everyone’s heads so that we could get out! I held onto one side of the buggy, lifted up high, with my other hand holding Luca’s hand so I wouldn’t lose him in the crowd, and we walked to the front of the bus, buggy lifted up over our heads, and safely onto the sidewalk. The helper had been a nice woman. A skinny, strong looking lady who had become our saviour for the day. Thank you, nice lady. Thank you.
Being a mom can be tough. Well, just being a person in general can be tough! But especially being a mom, sometimes you feel like everything’s a fight. Taking TTC is a struggle, going into a store is a struggle, hell, even just getting ready to get out the door is a struggle! These people, these actions of kindness, from complete strangers, mean so much. I don’t know if they know how much they are making a mother (or senior citizen, or disabled person, or injured person’s) day each time a stranger lends a helping hand. It honestly changes everything.
I just want to take a moment to send out a big THANK YOU into the universe, for all of the moments of help, for all of the kind glances when my kids are wailing, for all of the doors opened, the entertaining my kids on the subway or bus, the compliments when I feel like s#$*….. Thank you. And I promise you, if I ever see any of you struggling when my hands are free, I’ll hold the door open too, lift up your buggy, carry your heavy bags, help you up the stairs.
Thank you so much. Thank you.