A few weeks ago I took a Marta train ride with the girls to and from church. All Saints' is across the street from the North Ave. station so transit is a pretty convenient way to get there. Esther and CC LOVED being on the train with other people and watching out the windows. Esther didn't even complain about the pungent urine smell in all of the elevators, she just pinched her nose closed to cope.
On the ride home I took the wrong train (heading north instead of south) which added a little extra time to our trip. Sometimes those little annoying detours really get to me. But on this day, I wasn't really rattled. We sat in the Midtown station waiting for the train and suddenly Esther made a weird sound that grabbed my attention. She was choking. Before I did anything she coughed out the hard candy that had gotten lodged in the wrong place onto the station floor. But her body wasn't done assuring her survival. She started to heave and was soon depositing her previous snack of watermelon and cantaloupe on top of said hard candy. The whole thing was messy (thank God we had an extra sweater that CC had been carrying around that morning) and scary for Esther. She burst into tears and clearly upset by her sister, CC followed.
There I sat, with two hysterical girls, vomit on my shoes at the wrong Marta stop. And then our train came.
Happy to leave that scene, we found a seat on the train. Unfortunately, none of us had occupied our intended seats before the train lurched forward, sending us down the aisle. We recovered quickly and sat down. Now the girls were mute from the shock of previous events. They sheltered in my lap like little bunnies. It was then that this thought came to me: Five years ago this day would have knocked me over with exhaust, despair and anxiety. 7 years of childcare and 3 births have hardened me somewhat. Maybe 'seasoned' is a better word here. I am a seasoned mother of three. Now, understand, I don't claim to be fully seasoned, well-seasoned, or even adequately seasoned. But I am learning, I am stretching and I even have a little salt in my hair.