Everywhere, everyday, life goes on, with its own peculiar rhythm and its own various dramas. This story occurred in a big gas station cum rest stop on the main highway north of Bangkok. Come to think of it, that whole area is now under water, another drama.
I was stretching my legs, we were on a twenty-minute bus stopover. A Toyota VIOS pulled in and parked carelessly. Do they have those where you live? It’s a nice car, small but not too small. A young family jumped out, literally jumped out like the car was on fire, a young mother and father and their daughter, about eight-years-old. The girl was actively throwing up.
Mom took the girl to the bathrooms and dad set about cleaning the back seat. All very business like, without anxiety or recriminations. After a quick go over, dad noticed that he’d parked the car across the lines in his haste to get the little girl out onto the pavement. He got in and moved it accordingly. Mom came back to the car and dad opened the trunk. They took out a suitcase and retrieved a new shirt and pants for the girl. Dad put the soiled clothes into a plastic bag. By now the girl was feeling a little better; she was on the sidewalk playing airplane, turning slow circles with her arms outstretched. Trying to get her equilibrium back, no doubt.
Dad got a wet cloth and gave the back seat one last going over. I didn’t see the rest, it was time for my bus to leave.
I remember thinking that sometimes parents get an opportunity to prove themselves, and that on this occasion this young man and woman had proved themselves to be very good parents.