Reading Joel Seath’s recent post Small Ways of Working is lovely as always, giving me a warm feeling as if my brain’s just slipped into a tropical ocean.
It reminded me of a moment that I’ve been wanting to write about, one I’ve carried on one of my usual scraps of paper. Now it feels part of this larger conversation looking at where methodologies overlap, how people connect around play.
A main road encircles the Castle in Cardiff, and there are bus stops stretched along it. Opposite is a little pub and a shop where tourists buy dragon flags and wooden spoons. I had finished a day at the Shop and was headed home, leaving against the long metal railing with my face turned to the sun, reading a novel and waiting for my bus to come. A small boy and his mum came walking around the corner, hand in hand.
He was reaching up to push a little red toy car along the railing. It was at his eye level and he focused on it utterly, blowing his cheeks out as he made the vroom noises. I stood up and took a step forward so that he could proceed uninterrupted. He didn’t look up for a moment, but his mum did. She met my eye and gave me a look of such surprise and gratitude that I’ve remembered it for years.
“Thank you,” she mouthed, and I realized all of a sudden how many people must not move, how many people must look at her with irritation instead.
That the boy himself was so oblivious to all this somehow brought us closer together, because it seemed we had conspired to let him to stay that way a little bit longer.