Sunday, March 30, 2008

SHE HAD HER HANDS FULL

I was driving the 17 during rush hour. I got out of downtown and was navigating the bumper to bumper traffic going south on Hennepin. I got to 26Th and had to let someone off. I pulled the front of the bus into the bus stop and left the back part in the lane so I could get back out easily. After letting the person off I pulled the front of the bus back into the traffic lane. A guy at the bus stop waved at me and asked if I could wait for "that lady" as he pointed across the street. I told him I'd try to miss the light but would have to go if I didn't, since I was already in the traffic lane. A guy on the bus said "Just wait for her. She rides this bus every day."

I looked over and saw this lady. She had one baby strapped to her chest. He was facing forward and looked like a ball of arms and legs. She also had a very small child on each hand. She had more than her hands full. I just couldn't leave her there. I missed the light and she got on and thanked me. I was surprised how upbeat and pleasant she was. Most moms with that many small kids are at their wits end and are tired and grumpy.

The next day, I was talking to a guy I know who was sitting in the peanut seat. I got to 26Th and was looking for the lady. I didn't see her anywhere. I told the guy about the lady with the 3 kids the day before. I looked again and commented that I hoped I didn't miss her. Later, after the guy got off, an older lady came and sat in his seat. She said she overheard me talking to the guy. She wanted to thank me for watching for the lady with the kids. She said that was her daughter and her 3 grandsons. She said that was really nice of me to keep an eye out for her. I showed her I had actually made a note on my paddle (the drivers schedule of time checkpoints) that said "3K 26Th" for the lady with the 3 kids on 26Th street. I told her I do different work all the time so by the time I get to know who gets on where, I'm off to something else. I also mentioned the guy that said she got on that bus every day and that's why I made the note. She was very thankful and seemed quite impressed.

The best part is, she let me know I didn't miss her daughter and the kids. She was on the bus ahead of us. Better yet, she let me know I didn't need to watch for her the next day either. She wasn't going to be there.

It felt good to know I was appreciated!

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