Monday, December 8, 2014

Why I cried today

Today I ran into a beautiful person I haven't seen in two decades at least. Her name is Carol. I don't know if I've ever known her last name. She was one of the moms at the playground in Washington Square Park when my kids were little. We recognized each other over the vegetable bins at the Whole Foods store in mutual disbelief. We both blurted out how we'd thought of each other recently, then shared the explanatory anecdote. Then she asked me about Jesse.
There is a thing you do, when you know about loss, to help each other not cry in public, while still communicating the depth of sorrow and sympathy you share. It's the secret face of womanhood.

The reason I love her is that I was nursing my son in the playground one day, and an extremely well dressed man came over to me and started verbally abusing me for doing so. I didn't know Carol, but she walked over to defend me just as I held up my hands, one arm cradling my son's head against my breast, middle fingers extended and told him, "Like fruit? Have a pair!"