God Bless the Child

September 7, 2007
Yesterday I was cutting it close to make it into work my scheduled time
of 10am after coming in early the mornings before and working late. Coming down from Harlem at 72nd street I change to the local to get on the 1 train. Those mornings I come early the trains are piled with bodies squished together because way more people have to be to work at 9am then the creative industry's 10am. Well that morning I was coming later and it seemed all those folks who have to be in by 9am were late because they were all on the platform with me.
A 1 train finally came and it was PACKED. For the first time ever I didnt hustle trying to cram my way in to a spot that didnt exist on the train. I was resigned to wait till the next train until I saw people getting off at the last second a few doors down which meant some space had opened up. I hustled down and am able to get the coveted door spot before the doors close. As soon as I do I realize what might have added to why those ladies got off instead of just the approaching 3. There is a baby WAILING. That baby sure had some lungs and it was fruitless for my morning ipod rotation to continue so I cut it off in the middle of my anthem of late, Beyonce's "Women Like Me." It's so crowded you can't really see where the baby is. After 66th st it clears out a little and I see the stroller and the young black mother sitting in front of it. At this point I know everyone on the train had to be thinking the same thing: Whyisnt she comforting this baby? By 59th st I am really tempted to go over and rock the crying child. And I
admit, I really thought about it until I realized maybe someonedidnt want me coming and picking up their child. At 59th St is where I get mad and my heart hurts for this little girl. She
continues to cry the most pitiful cry and then the mom gets mad and just starts glaring at her and talking to her like she's 21 instead of barely 18 months. At 50th she gets off and Im right behind her. And it breaks my heart to see that little girl. I was racking my brain for a
way to offer help without offending this girl. I resign myself to hustle to work before Im behind and pray a little prayer for that baby. That she has someone in her life that will hold her when she cries.
Seeing her and how rough some kids can have it so young just makes me that more appreciative for the good ride I've had. My mom and pop allowed me to be one of the most ignorant people I know on how harsh life could be until I was strong enough to manage. And
meeting people who are still battling things from childhood makes me wonder how different it all could have turned out for me if I weren't blessed with an environment where all I had to do was just be a bratty kid, where I was the odd combination of half tomboy/half crybaby. But more importantly I mourn the greatness that could have been of so many but a rocky childhood they couldnt overcome killed the possibility.
Me and my BFF may shutter every time we think of life if we were pregnant now, it just doesnt compute, but seeing that baby made me realize a good heart and a warm hug is an important start. At the corner of 50th and 8th Ave I put my ipod back on and walked in at 10:07am humming along to Billie's "God Bless the Child."

Papa may have, Mama may have, but God bless the child that got his own . . .


  1. Mademoiselle M said...:

    oh i really love this post. i can't wait till you have ur own magazine lol. send me the subscription form first please.

  1. I know this is sooo not the point of the post, but I think you'd make a great mom.

    Anyhoo, I often see little kids or babies crying, acting out, and I feel like I should step in. But I always just say a prayer that they are okay.

    You rock,Ms.Jackson!

  1. Shara D. said...:

    some people don't know how to be good parents because no one ever showed them. it's a sad, vicious cycle.