Fatherhood has brought a number of new experiences for me: not sleeping or having any free time just to name a few. Because my wife drops our daughter off on her way to work in the evening and we take the bus home, being a dad has also changed my perspective on transit.
Before my daughter was born, riding the bus or MAX meant 30 minutes to read, listen to music, or just zone out. But with Dehlia in tow, transit looks a lot different.
|Image courtesy of seattlepi.com|
She is entranced watching our fellow riders, and often they are quite smitten with her too. (I have to admit, she's pretty cute when she's flirting with everyone on board.) And of course being a good dad, I try to talk to her about all the things that are going on.
For example, as the rain came pouring down during last Monday's evening commute I told Dehlia what everyone around us was doing: a crossword puzzle, reading a book, reading a Kindle, playing with iPhone-y-things (several people), one guy looked like he was holding his own mini-concert in his head, and the fellow next to him was voting! Right next to them someone was diligently poring over some serious work - briefs from a court case, perhaps. All that was happening within five feet of us on the back of the bus.
Transit really is a public space unlike any other we have in this country. In so much of the US, transportation has become a solitary endeavor pursued in private space (even bicycles qualify under this definition). But transit puts us all together if only for a few moments, while we continue pursuing our individual lives. And in that space, creative, business, intellectual, and civic activities flourish. That's pretty amazing for the evening commute home.