Running late

The morning started off as if any other: the tapping toes while pulsing my coffee beans (the extra 30 seconds feel like agony but the taste outweighs my impatience) the scrambling of ensuring I am in physical possession of my ID badge, the mental checklist during the commute of “remember to pick up…., you should call…., don’t forget….” The half-listening to DJ editorialize the IRAN disaster. I was my usual 10 minutes behind. Deciding (uncharacteristically! Don’t judge me!) to park in an “off-limits” lot, I accessed a hospital door infrequently accessed by me…and ran into one of my first patients from this position.
I work primarily, solely with children.
And she had grown. Her hair was cut more adult-like, she was toting a stylish purse, as if
 remarking to the world her more mature status, and the manner in which she carried herself was clear: HERE I AM SUN! GET READY! I AM GOING TO TOUCH YOU TODAY.
And immediately I smiled.
When her eyes located mine, indeed, the world was caught off guard. Without hesitation and inhibition, she now girlishly skipped over to me and threw her arms around me. Such unabandoned affection, such physical affirmation first thing in the morning was so alarmingly stirring all rational thought left me. In the moment, all my poised preparations for the day leaked away, and my brain dumped that recognition of being “behind. ”
Because she remembered me. Because I mattered to her.
There was no behind. There was no not enough. There was no must do.
Whether you live alone or have a family, our days too often begin with a lack of awareness of the meat of our interactions. It’s not because I am single that I am not touched in the morning. I gather that even if I had children, the bubble would preside, articulating: “Don’t touch! You will DETER me!” We mend a robotic imperialism that does not allow us to engage, experience, connect, live.
If I had not been late, behind, I would have never experienced this creature, on the cusp of young womanhood, and would not have been touched.

When you are running late, is there a lesson there?

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5 thoughts on “Running late

  1. Thank you for stopping by my humble little blog.

    It really is amazing how much a simple, unexpected gesture can alter the entire course of our preprogrammed day. It sounds like in this case it altered yours for the better. It doesn’t get much better than that.

  2. Nice post. I just reminded myself of this yesterday. I needed to get to an advising appt for school and the freeway was seriously backed up. Usually I would panic and start driving a little more aggressively. Instead, I just took some deep breaths and reminded myself that I’m human and everyone else on the road is too. They are all going somewhere too. The road isn’t backed up just to ruin my day. It’s just backed up, and possibly there is someone injured or worse at the front of all those hundreds of cars. It was a good exercise in slowing down.

  3. That’s such a sweet story, and I’m sure she had no idea how her simple gesture affected you. I think one of the beautiful things about kids is how we see them hurtling through time towards adulthood, and yet they only see each moment, lingering and infinitely slow. They remind us to take the time to appreciate what’s around us without even intending to.

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