Tuesday, September 05, 2006
my good samaritans
This Sunday Clare and I made our first trip to church by train. You can't really tell, but that's Clare in the stroller on the train.
Ah, the stroller. I took it because in addition to Clare and the requisite diaper bag, I was carrying my contribution to our monthly meal together: Thweatt rolls, a full Thanksgiving-sized double batch. I figured being able to put them down under the stroller seat and push Clare along would make things a great deal easier.
But in a city strollers are like cars--really convenient and helpful when you're actually moving and covering some distance, and really sucky to deal with all the rest of the time. I knew I had some stairs to contend with, but I also knew other people in NYC used strollers--I've seen them on the subway, I know it's possible to get your stroller down there. But this was my first stroller management experience. So I didn't know (till I asked for advice and received an extremely helpful tip from Laura) how to really handle the get-the-damn-stroller-up-(or down)-the-stairs hurdle.
But at every flight of stairs and at every elevator, train, and subway door, someone was ready to help. 12 people in all ready to hold the door or grab the bottom of the stroller to help lift it and carry it up or down the stairs. And it wasn't until I got to church and started thinking about it that I realized every single person who stopped to help me was a person of color.
Maybe it's a fluke but it seems astonishing to me. I'm no social scientist and this of course is not any kind of well-designed social experiment: this is just me not being able to handle my baby vehicle. And one trip is hardly representative, I'm sure. But I'm keeping my eyes open the next time I take the thing to NYC (not anytime soon--Clare may be heavy but at least in a sling stairs present no major obstacle) and we'll see if the experience repeats itself. Even though I now know the easiest way to get a stroller up or down the stairs is to pick it up and carry it myself.
Posted by JTB at 8:58 AM