Friday Lunch

We bought a sandwich today, to send off the threadbare week. I needed the break more than the food, and we picked a run of the mill place to sit for awhile.There were two women — sisters, I think — and one very young little boy seated between them across the room from us. What first attracted my attention to him was his head bobbing between the ample bodies of the two women. They talked to each other, but also to him as he ate his lunch, then dozed in the warm, sunny room, his head nodding first to one side, and then to the other. Somebody was always rubbing his neck, or patting him, and he had the look of a child who felt absolutely protected from whatever might lie beyond the window over the parking lot. After they finished their food and their conversation, they hoisted him up and wiped his face, then carried him still mostly asleep, draped over a shoulder. They stepped out into a world that needs more nice, big moms and aunts for little kids. And more sunny afternoons where nothing bad is going to happen to small children with such women to protect them.