Which, in the lil’ peanut’s world, equals: zoo train.
He waved enthusiastically at everyone we passed by. Â At least 33% waved back.Â Unalloyed unselfconsciousness: the double-edged, enviable, indomitable power of the three year-old.
When the zoo train took its San Francisco Bay view loop, all us grown ups were casting our eyes out across the beautiful, wind-swept vista. Â Meanwhile our kids kept a steady bead on the bushes in their emu /wallabee lookout.
I can’t count the number of times a day I realize how excruciatingly fleeting this unselfconsciousness is, this wide-open engagement of the world. Â But it may be that these moments are more jam-packed and seamless on a zoo train ride than in any other ten- to fifteen-minute stretch I typically have with this boy. Â His hand rests on my leg, he not only tolerates but cuddles and warms to the feel of my wrist and hand tight around his torso.
A few weeks back, I overheard his older sister saying to her girl cousin, “I wish I could marry Mama.” His retort: “I want to marry Baba.” Â Oedipus? Electra? Neither? By the time the question becomes more apropos, I’ll be lucky if he answers my text messages. Â Or beams me his coordinates, or whatever we’re doing at that point.