Yesterday Sabine and I went into the city to meet our friends. We went to the famous NY Public Library (stunning, can’t wait to go back without toddlers in tow so I can drink in all its splendor), watched ice skaters and the zamboni machine at Bryant Park, rode our third NYC carousel at Bryant Park (fantastic small carousel that played music from my favorite movie, Amelie) watched some street performers and subway musicians, and then went to the train show at Grand Central Station.
Toddler meltdowns aside, it should have been a wonderful day with my friend and our kids.
Instead this cold January day was ruined when I was robbed on my way into the city.
I see so many parents on the train ignoring their crying kids while they tap away at their cell phones. I totally get it: sometimes there is nothing you can do to calm the savage beast and the only way to preserve self is to direct your attention to a handheld device. We have all been there. For the most part, though, Sabine is an excellent traveler and really enjoys the 45 minutes of play time with Mama. We sing songs, look out the window and strike up conversations with kind strangers. Trains are fun and so is my kid.
You won’t see me with my cell phone out unless I’m checking directions or Sabine is in dire straights and requires Curious George, stat. Otherwise I keep it tucked in my diaper bag, purse or pocket. Yesterday it was tucked safely away in the pocket of my diaper bag while we played hand puppets and Sabine flirted with a very cute young man across the isle.
At Times Square we stopped to switch from the 1 to the 7 train. As always, I reached for my phone before boarding the next train to confirm the directions and what did I find? Nothing. Someone had reached into my diaper bag while I was playing with my kid and stole my phone. Had I been one of the million parents ignoring their kid while playing on their phone I would still have my overpriced device.
I am livid. I have been focusing on being the change I want to see in the world the last few months. I help people down the stairs, hold doors, pay fares, give genuine compliments to people and tip the street and car performers. It makes everyone’s day better and, I believe, ripples through the universe. It helps me feel a sense of purpose when I am otherwise feeling very lost and confused. And what does the universe hand back? A robbery. Someone took my phone that was filled with amazing photos and videos of my tiny human, my dying cat, and my family. They took the phone that held our lists and appointments. They took my phone that held my period tracking, something I have never been able to do because I have never had a regular cycle. They took my phone that I use to navigate, call my family and text my friends.
I have tried mightily to find happiness here. I wake up each day with fresh perspective, ready to tackle NYC and make memories that will last. And then this. I feel sad for my child who has to grow up in this very fucked up world. I feel sad for the people who are robbed that already have very little. I feel sad for my family for this additional financial burden (we are very strapped for cash with our two sick cats). And I feel sad for the person who for some unknown reason chose to steal from the mom who was playing with her child. Fuck. You.