We've all been there. We're sitting on the plane, waiting for everyone to take their seat so we can sit on the tarmac for an hour before we take off. As person after person meanders down the center aisle that's too small for a person and a bag, we look each person up and down, avoiding eye contact, sizing them up. As the person starts walking towards you, you think to yourself, "please don't sit by me, please don't sit by me, (except you, Mr. Hot dude that smiles just right, You can sit ON me. Wait, what?)." It could be the person that stinks from too much perfume, or not enough deodorant. Or that one that's chatting on the cell phone so that the whole plane can hear and you just KNOW that person will want to tell you her whole life story when all you want to do is sleep. Or that poor woman carrying a screaming kid that you are fully aware does not want to be confined to a little space for hours and will whine, kick, and shout incessantly, stopping only long enough to vomit on the person in front of him or sneeze and sling snot your way.
You've been there. You've walked down that same aisle on the same plane and looked at the people already sitting and you know that person is thinking the same thing about you. We all know "the look".
Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, I've seen "the look" more times than I could have imagined, seeing as how I haven't stepped foot on a plane or any form of public transportation.
It's happening when I drop L off at daycare.
She walks in, goes into her room, and you see all the kids giving "the look". She looks around and starts heading towards a table and the established kids give each other this knowing glance. The others, as L passes their tables, let out an almost audible sigh of relief. The kids she approaches start putting away what they're playing with, already resigned to the fact that she will mess up whatever they've spent their last few minutes mastering. The other day, a kid actually said to his friend, "I guess it's time to put this away; we'll have to start over anyway." Today, it was, "She can't play here. Center's full". I was taken to that scene in Forest Gump when he's trying to find a seat on the school bus.
My heart almost broke.
And so begins our next chapter in life. This chapter begins with L's peers noticing a difference, and being frustrated by it. They can tell she is not age appropriate in her actions, but they don't fully comprehend the why behind it. This is a stage when kids say what's on their minds, the filter not yet being installed. It's past the age of questioning everything, but noticing differences.
The one thing I'm most grateful for is that L is not there yet. She is still stuck in the "everything's okay as long as I have food and boots" phase. (The boots are very important, but they apparently only function well when they're a) rain boots and b) worn on the wrong feet.) The point being, she's oblivious to the stares, sighs, and comments as of now. She gladly sits beside her "peers", flaps her hands, and begins to steal whatever toys they were playing with.
Yea for the little things!