So many simple, powerful moments happen on the train.
Like when the guy in the hoodie with tattoos and chains and spikes all over played peekaboo with Squish.
Or when we watched the deaf family talk about Jesus one Sunday morning on our way to church.
Or those times –and there have been many – when an entire section of a car gets up and rearranges themselves so that our family can sit, and sit together.
Or when we met some grandparents who, on Thanksgiving Day, were doing what the 3-year-old grandson wanted more than anything to do: ride the trains. No destination, no rhyme or reason, just station to station.
One time, youngish lady stood up and, rather than sing a song and pass a cup, or tell her tale of woe and pass a cup, or pump up some music and rock out and pass a cup, she told all within earshot that she wanted them to know that they were children of God and that Jesus loved them. And then she humbly sat down and said no more.
Another time, years ago, when the girl sitting next to me on the train noticed 1-year-old Manchild eying her banana, she politely offered it to him.
And there was that time when we wound up in the same car as my sister and it took her several minutes to realize that we’d sent Manchild over to sit by her.
One of my most memorable moments was the time when we first moved to Brooklyn and a fight broke out on the car I was riding in. It was one of my first times riding with infant-Manchild but without Micah. The car was crowded, and I was standing near the guys who were going at it. Before I could even think of what to do, several tough-looking men herded me over to the end of the car and put themselves between my baby and harm’s way.
Last Sunday’s moment will undoubtedly become canonized in the Heiselt Family Book of Subway Moments. We were only on the train for two stops, just a short ride. Micah patiently answered all of Manchild’s questions about whatever the boy asks about. As we got off the train, an elderly gentleman whom we had hardly noticed quietly said, “You’re doing a good job.”
Micah could not stop smiling.