Thursday, April 23, 2009

Even the Taxi Driver Laughed

It happens every Monday that I am late to leave the house with Ricki for her drama club class. Ricki becomes a golem with one goal in mind:
She will reach the wedding dress before “Aliza” does.
At the place were the drama class is held, there is a small room with various costumes, one being the dress of a bride. Ricki even borrowed it a few years ago to wear on Purim.

(Picture: Ricki two years ago on Purim day, dressed as a bride.)

Since then, Ricki has outgrown the dress physically (she can not zip it up at all), but not emotionally. Each and every week she hurries on Mondays to finish her homework, so that she can get to the class in time to don the dress beforehand, and imagine herself as a bride. One week we arrived a bit late, and a “tragedy” occurred: “Aliza” got to the dress before Ricki, and claimed it for herself that day.
Since then, Ricki has been in a mild state of panic every time we depart for the class: Will we get there before “Aliza”?
Now this class is a moderate bus ride away, but our one-way trip, due to the infrequency of that particular route’s service, takes about an hour. If I am pressed for time, I will occasionally opt to take a taxi for the 15 minute ride that it takes by car. But that ride has become a real experience, due to Ricki’s fears of losing her precious wedding dress dreams.
From the minute we enter the car, Ricki will start pushing me, and preparing herself to exit the door on my side. (We always exit on the right side, and I sit there to prevent Ricki from exiting too fast and crossing the busy street next to the club unchecked and unhindered by caution.) All my explanations that we will not leave the vehicle for another 15 minutes, and that there is no possibility of her alighting before I do is like oil on water...it doesn’t even reach her consciousness.
This week shortly after entering the cab, Ricki tried the handle on the left side, and my sharp admonition that this was dangerous, and that she would NOT exit the vehicle on the street side sparked a recognition in the eyes of the driver. “It’s locked automatically.” he whispered to me.
As we reached our destination, and Ricki’s desire to fly from the car reached a crescendo of definite shoves, the driver just laughed. And so did I. It isn’t that I don’t want or expect her to change this behavior. It was the recognition that we all have desires and dreams that we shove and push for, even when the efforts are ill-considered and even counter-productive. How many of us become locked on a dream to the detriment of all the other precious things around us?
So here’s toasting to good dreams for all of us, and the wisdom to know how to achieve them.

(PS. The driver laughed in a tone that I was sure he did not mean to be laughing AT her.)

3 comments:

muse said...

I love the story. It's so real for every age and every condition. There are things we just want. Impatience, oy.

RivkA with a capital A said...

I can relate to that feeling of wanting something so much, your stomach hurts. And knowing that it is just within reach, but that I still might not get it..... *sigh*
I don't push and shove, but sometimes I want to.

rickismom said...

Oy, RivkA.......
But hopefully WE are all pushing and shoving with our prayers for you!