Dear woman whom I passed on the street:
We walked by one another today, you and I. Me, carrying Emmeline, and you, walking with a small child with a teeny, tiny bundle of a baby wrapped to your chest.
We made eye contact and you stared at me, defiant. Or angry, or defensive. Maybe you thought I was judging your appearance: long-to-the-waist multiple braids of brown hair, set off with beads of many colors within the braids; loose, flowing, unisex clothes; Birkenstocks. Your child was indistinguishable as a boy or girl.
You probably glanced at me, fresh out of our SUV, in a white blouse and tidy blonde pony tail carrying toddler in white (!) cordouroy dress with pink tights and pink shoes, and thought I was not someone you would befriend.
But I wasn't judging your clothes, or your hair, or your somewhat grimey child. What caught my eye was the exquisitily tender manner you held the child's hand, and gently, subtly corrected his path as he wandered too close to the road. I watched the child glance at you full of awe, love, and wonder. I saw at the same time how you never stopped touching your newborn's back and legs. The three of you were so beautiful in that moment, so loving. I hoped I sometimes look like that.
So, I wasn't judging you. I wish I had turned to say your kid is amazing, and good job. You seem to already know.