My family has spent an enormous amount of time at a local amusement park this past month. King’s Island-where coasters are conquered, swings soar, entertainment excites, food is eaten as if famished, and a good time is had by all- most of the time. I mean let’s face it, there is the occasional upset stomach, from the food or rides, take your pick.
I like to people watch. I think most of us do. And if ever there is a place for people watching a plenty, King’s Island is it. You are sure to happen upon people in all shapes and sizes, skin colors of all shades, and enough languages to think you might be at the bottom of The Tower of Babel instead of standing at the end of the Main Street looking up at the park’s imitation Eiffel Tower.
So if one good turn deserves another. If I am peering with curiosity through my green eagle eyes at others, I should be gracious and put on a show for others when they look at me, right? Actually, that’s a whole other tale for another day. I am just acknowledging I shouldn’t be shocked at the stares of others and I am not.
It’s just the other day, I learned something unexpected during a typical gawking session. Compassion. Tenderness. Love.
I felt compassion for the very pregnant mother who could not keep her gaze away from Cyrus’s feeding tube. As she followed the process to stop the beeping that his feed was finished, to the disconnecting of the line, and then the flushing of water with syringe, she massaged her belly mountain faster and faster and faster. It was as if she was a genie with a magic womb, rubbing one of her three wishes. “Please let my baby be healthy. Please don’t let my baby be sick. Please little one be okay”
I felt tenderness as later in the day I saw a grandmother hypnotized by the feeding aerobics of Cyrus. She stood to the side of her four year old granddaughter tousling her hair. Twirling and twirling strands of blond locks around her fingers as word bubbles began to drift over her head. I could hear them, each one as they popped to float the next thought.
I’m not a mind reader so I really don’t know what either of those two ladies or the legions of others were thinking or feeling or wishing or hoping. I just know I finished the day feeling love. Love for Cyrus. Love for my family. A little deeper love for humanity. Well, and an understanding to realize just because someone finds themselves in a trance in my direction doesn’t mean I need to feign offense. We all have the opportunity to grow, share, enlighten and yes, sometimes just stare together.