Saturday, September 20, 2014

5 Minute Walk

This morning I had found an advertisement for some bottles and pacifiers from a seller on Marktplaats, a popular buying/selling website. Over the months I've found several similar ads, from "We bought too many size 1 diapers" to "My baby has grown out of these clothes." Sometimes I can go pick up the items for cheap, sometimes for no charge. When they're free, I like to take a box of chocolates as a little 'thank you' gift. Only, I've recently run out of my gift stash and needed to get some more tonight, as well as groceries. I tucked Pippin into his baby carrier, dropped a kiss on Faramir's cheek, and headed out the door. We passed a boy sitting on his doorstep by the mailboxes, next to a pile of letters, with a woman behind him as he talked to her in Italian. Translating? "If everything is not paid..."

It's about five minutes walk to the grocery store through my multicultural neighborhood. Three if traffic is light - no cars pausing on the side while conversation is made with friends on the sidewalk, no pack of teenagers casually biking along and ignoring the cars. Sometimes I pause to chat with 'The Purple Neighbor Lady" who is nearly always dressed in her favourite colour, leaning out her window or sitting on a bench and keeping an eye on the whole neighborhood. Sometimes I pause while dog walkers in front of me pause at the whim of their bulldog or chihuahua. But it's normally about five minutes to the store.

Today it took longer than that. Halfway there, I rounded a corner and almost bumped into a group of kids - a few preteens showing off their bikes tricks or cute jeans, and a few smaller kids running in circles or playing tag. One little girl with big eyes and dark glossy hair, likely from a Moroccan or Turkish family, stopped and stared at Pippin's protruding arms and legs. I smiled at her and bent down a bit so she could see that it was a baby in the pack on my front. "Oooooh!" she exclaimed and patted his head, before running back into the middle of the group and screaming someone's name. I waited. In a minute she ran back, half dragging another girl of about 7 years. "Look at the baby!" Still bent down, I watched as they both exclaimed and did some more patting. Pippin opened his sleepy eyes in confusion, which only added to their excitement. After a minute I stood back up, smiled goodbye, and headed on to the grocery store.

Sometimes I mind the delays in getting to the store. Today I didn't. 

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