Lone Rat and Cub: “Fire truck”

Every now and then Ratty writes about what it’s like to be out and about with his baby. This is one of those times…

My daughter loves fire trucks so when I saw one on our bleary eyed morning walk I pulled over so she could talk to it (“Wee-Ooh, Wee-oh, Wee-oh”). I looked to my right and saw an old woman sitting on the ground near an apartment building with her head in her hands. It was then I started to realize that fire trucks aren’t typically parked on the street just to amuse my daughter. Ten feet to the woman’s right was an orange tarp with what I assume was her husband underneath. A few people were looking up to the balcony he jumped from. As my face blanched my daughter yelled, “Hi-yaaaah!” to the old woman on the curb and waved vigorously. Time froze. The old woman looked up and did something that genuinely shook me: she smiled. Not a wide smile and not a long smile but a smile. Before I could process what was happening police officers ushered us away.

I guess I’ve always known that there’s room in any emotion for the opposite to creep in. You can feel sad when you’re happy, happy when you’re sad. What I learned this morning is that there’s room for that even when the emotion is so raw, so near. That we’re capable, even in our darkest hour, to let a little bit of light in.

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