My daughter is about butt height. Stuff her on a rush hour NYC subway train headed to Central Station with farts just waiting happen, and it is the recipe for six year old terror. It struck me that not many kids appeared to ride the subway no matter what time of day but especially not at rush hour.
Now I know why.
To be honest, I was nervous about the subway myself. All of those things people say about it….
Avoid the subway. It’s awful. All that stale urine. So dirty! Everyone is terribly rude. You’ll get mugged or robbed or worse. Just use Uber for crying out loud!
For my daughter, though, the subway was her favorite part of New York City. “It’s fast, mommy.” She sighed, content. “Speed is my life.”
“If it were me, I’d just let your kids sit the whole time,” volunteered a man from Arizona who was riding out to Battery Park with his own son. My son slouched back into his seat, nodding his head vigorously in agreement. I didn’t ask for this man’s advice but he had seen me force my kids to stand while people were entering the car in case our seats were needed. One of the people entering was a heavily pregnant woman and I pointed that out to him more for the benefit of my kids than for him. “Oh. Well. Ok.”
He shut up after that but the damage was done. An adult had contradicted mom’s unpopular edict.
On the return trip from the Statue of Liberty my kids grumbled and groaned and rolled their eyes when we all stood to allow a group of elderly women to take our seats.
“Where are you from?” a woman from Greenwich Village asked. We told her. “Thank you for giving up your seat to those women,” she told my kids. “It was very kind.” They beamed. Suddenly they understood. Mom was not just some crazy hack. Being courteous to others really is a good thing.
When we missed our stop she got off the train herself to point us in the right direction, even though that was not a convenient thing for her.
New York is awesome.