As I am walking through the subway station, I see many people pass me by. I see a guy with slicked back blonde hair and a skateboard underneath his arm. I see a woman dressed to the nines, waiting for someone near the bakery in the station. Eventually as I’m walking further towards the right platform my eye catches a little hand. A little hand holding a fidget spinner. I follow the hand and see a cute chubby boys face. He brings the toy to his cheeks and spins it against them. Then I see him put it close to his ear and listening to the sound of it. He almost walks into a wall but quickly dodges that. Then I wonder: why are you all alone here kiddo? Where’s your parent?
Then I hear her: “come here!” I follow the voice and see a woman in shorts and a tanktop. But what I notice most is what the woman does immediately after: her vision disappears into the phone that she’s holding. As I pass her by I can sort of make out what it is she’s doing. I see a group chat of funny emojis and I see her tapping away on her screen furiously. I look back at the little boy, whom I see taking a peek at his mother, then quickly shifting his gaze back to the fidget spinner. The first thing that I think of is: Yeah, by all means don’t pay attention to your little one as you can’t seem to pay anything any mind besides the group chat with possible friends. It angers me.
Then I remember seeing these kind of cases before. Where I can only think: poor child.
About two years ago I saw a young mother getting on the same bus I was on. She came in with a stroller, and I saw a teeny tiny baby in it. I smiled right away because I want a mini me of my own, real bad. She too was holding her phone while getting on. She checked in and put the baby stroller in the reserved spot for it. She then sat down and all the while not taking her eyes off of her phone screen. What she was doing, I don’t know. At that moment I didn’t really care because all I was doing at that time, was stare at the little one in the stroller. Seemingly sound asleep. Just like myself, everyone in the bus was in love with the little bundle of joy. Everyone except the mother…
The bus driver stepped on the brake because some madman cut him off. The stroller jerked and tipped over. The baby came rolling out, onto the disgusting floor of the bus. It started crying loudly. Everyone in the bus gasped and stood up in some sort of reflex, for the little one. Including me. The mother put her phone away for the first time, picked up the crying helpless infant and started rocking it. Looking around in shame.
That’s when I thought: Yes, now you care. Now when you realize you haven’t cared before because you were too busy with your phone. You’re a mother. You and a lot of other women I see. But your phone seems more important.
Until your kid gets hurt. Or almost walks into a wall at the subway station.
God, what I’d do if I had a little one of my own like you. I know for sure though, that unlike you, I wouldn’t have eyes for anything or anyone other than that bundle of joy.