No One Left Behind

Here’s a conversation I need to have with my kids: what to do if we get separated while getting on/off the train. This is totally a fear I have, and the more kids I add to our crew the greater the fear. Logically it makes the most sense to just stay put and wait for Mommy to come back, but can I really expect a toddler to wait patiently for ten minutes on a subway platform?

I admit that I invested in a safety harness (leash) a couple of years ago. I tried it on Judah. It was a backpack with a monkey on it, totally discreet. He walked with it on his back for a block and then started crawling on the ground like a puppy. Eventually I lost the leash part and he just used it as a backpack. If I could find the leash I’d totally use it on Lisi, but she’d probably start barking. I digress.

This fear has been on my mind because of something that happened the other day. I was having a little “me” day; as in, I had two doctors’ appointments and wanted to go by myself. I also managed to squeeze in a mani-pedi and some shopping, so overall it was pretty successful. On the way home, I transferred subways and — just as I sat down — the lady next to me was like, is that your bag? Pointing out the window. Oh crap. Well, the doors closed and my bag was on the platform. No, it wasn’t anything irreplaceable, just an H&M bag with a few things I’d picked up, but it was still money I’d just spent and I’ll be darned if wasn’t going to make every attempt to retrieve it.

I got off at the next stop and waited for a downtown train. Two minutes in. What the hell is taking so long? An uptown train comes. I popped my head in and quickly looked around for someone holding an H&M bag. Nothing. I waited for what was the longest three minutes ever. The train finally arrived. I took a seat (have you seen my varicose veins? Heck yeah I’ll sit for one stop). I wondered, should I sit and pray that the bag is there? I’m Jewish and prayer is a big part of our religion, but is this really what we’re supposed to be praying for?  I mean, there are sick people who could use my prayers, shouldn’t I pray for them instead? Ah, doors open, my stop!

I got off the train and ran up the steps, across the overpass and back down the steps. The platform was a little crowded. I looked around at everyone heading my way to see if anyone was holding my bag and then I spotted the scene of the crime. There were a bunch of people there. I pushed my way through, lots of thoughts running through my mind. I mean, what was even in the bag that someone could want? Sunglasses for Lisi, a flower headband for Annie, a shirt for me and the cutest little bathing suit for Judah. Who would want that? But crap. My receipt was there. They could return it for store credit!

My heart was pounding. I approached the area and there was a lady looking at me. Is this yours? Yes! Yes it is! I took my bag, waited about a minute for the uptown train and went on with my day. And of course, losing that bag is what had me thinking: what if I had left my purse? Or a child? But hey, I didn’t. And I’ll come up with a plan. Eventually. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking for that leash.

This picture would not have been possible without the big H&M rescue mission

1 comment

  1. I’m pro leash! Especially in NYC. I used one in the late fall with Lila for a couple of weeks and she protested a little but but she also got some (relative) freedom. And I got peace of mind while carrying my infant in a carrier, not wanting to risk my toddler darting into traffic or onto the tracks. This was also during a phase when Lila would often run away from me (very quickly!!), cackling with glee the little stinker. So I ised the leash. And you know what – I didn’t get any dirty looks. (Or maybe I was too sleep deprived to notice them). Also, thanks for giving me a new fear!!

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