Empty Car Seat

I’m on the subway. A sixteen year old boy sits next to me.

He’s carrying an empty car seat, which he sets on the floor.

And he sits hunched forward, with his elbows on his knees, and he reaches forward and adjusts the straps. Then sits, frowning, and reaches forward to adjust them again, tugging to get them just right.

Satisfied, he puts his chin in his hands. He gazes at the car seat, and I wonder what he sees.

I wonder if he is picturing his brand new son, his brand new daughter, eyes closed, eyelashes touching cheeks and mouth pursed.

He reaches forward to smooth the headrest, and his hand is gentle and unlined, and I want to say –

Oh, kid. Kid. You guys are going to be all right.

Photo Creative Commons