Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rain, Baby, Rain

It was as dark and stormy of a night that is possible at one o'clock in the afternoon in South Florida. The rain pelted my windshield in huge drops. The wipers, not being able to move at light-speed, were useless. I drove slowly. As slowly as a senior citizen on the freeway.

In the moments I could see, immediately after the wipers had bravely done their duty, before the downpour made everything disappear, I saw a woman next to the bus stop twenty feet from my car. She stood with her back to the wind and was holding . . . have to wait for the wipers . . . something white in her arms, covering it with as much of herself as she could. . . Wait for wipers. . . Oh my god, she's rocking it! Her gentle bounce and loving gaze were only interrupted by a . . . wipers . . . make that two quick glances up--probably searching for any sign of an approaching bus.

I had just enough time in between wiper swipes to check the backseat. Yep. I think my daughter's currently vacant carseat was the kind that could hold a child between 5-65 lbs. I would save them! If only the cars ahead of me would move a little faster, I could get this poor mother and child before they melted. . . Come on . . . Come on . . . A little closer now . . . Come on. A little closer.

I swung the car into the bus lane, slammed on the brakes, and threw on my hazard lights, hoping that the senior citizen behind me wouldn't get too confused, panic and plow into the rear end of my car. I slammed my finger onto the automatic window control (what did we do before those?) and the passenger-side window lowered, allowing the rain to drench my car's interior.

"Get in!" I shouted to the woman with the baby.

"Oh my God, thank you!" she shouted back, pulling the door open.

"There's a carseat in the back for the baby!"

"Oh, thank you. Thank you." She slid into the seat. Adjusting herself into the seat, she cooed, "See honey, we're all dry now." The woman held her baby away from her body and unwrapped the soaking blanket.

The baby's fur was all matted and stuck out in brown and black spikes all over its head. The fierce pride that had swollen my chest turned into a sneeze. The woman looked over at me.

"I'm allergic," I mumbled.

"What?" Her attention had already returned to her mangy-looking beast.

"Nothing. Cute dog."

"Thanks. She's my little baby." Then she started the baby-talk. "Awen't you, my pwetty ba-by?"

I pointed to the backseat. "You'd better strap her in."

"Oh, no. She can stay up here with us."


Lauren, the hero. Saving the day and then rushing to Walgreens for some Benadryl.