Tuesday, October 09, 2012

angry birds on the bus

I got on the bus and took a seat, though I was only going about 2 miles. It got a little more crowded, and then a little less. In between, a mom and three young boys got on. Youngest was in the midst of a mini-tantrum--the kind that involves squawks and shouts and maybe a little bit of flailing. (I won't comment on whether the crowd level changed due to the boy's noise level, though I will leave you to imagine the body language of people getting up and moving or getting off.) Mom was clearly struggling, and there was something about the tone of the boy's cries that made me wonder if he's also developmentally delayed or has other challenges we can't always see from the outside.

A man, who had been conversing with a friend about various things, and whose accent things he'd been discussing gave us to understand that he came from (and was returning to) a less advantaged south-side neighborhood, looked at the boy and said, "do you want to play angry birds?" as he held out his iPhone.

Mom was a little petrified--"please, no--I may not be able to get him to give it back to you."

The man insisted it would be okay, and handed the phone over to the little boy, who immediately started swiping his fingers across the screen--not sure how to play the game, but immediately absorbed in the task and its images.

I was absorbed in the image too...I almost missed my stop, it was so beautiful to watch this man try to soothe a distressed little boy, and to see the friendship made there, even if it might be for only a few miles.

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