Another taxi surprise today. Usually, when I get in the back seat, out of habit, I look at the driver. I see what’s expected, the back of his head. Then just today, as I was glancing at the back of the driver’s head, a pair of eyes pops out—there was a little head peering over at me from the driver’s seat, window side.
It was a little boy, barely 5 years old, though of course I can’t really be exact, I just saw his eyes and part of a snub nose. He was, how shall I describe this—wedged between the car door and the driver’s thighs. From the windshield you can’t see him, the top of his head is barely visible.
I ask the driver, “Is he your son?” He grins broadly and says, “Yes ma’am, this is my son.”
Then he goes on to explain, sheepishly or so I think, “He likes to ride along with me.”
The boy gives me a curious once-over, his expression quite grave. Then he turns towards the window and squints in the afternoon sunlight.
We get stuck in a little traffic jam near the mall. I put on my sunglasses. The boy smiles shyly at me, then turns back to watching the road, humming happily along to some silly commercial on the radio. Maybe it’s because his son was onboard, but I noticed the driver was cruising along smoothly, careful around corners and not trying to overtake other taxis.
I sigh inwardly, as I ask him to drop me off by the church door. Driving with a kid that way. It’s none of my business, for sure. I just hope that car door is locked. I didn’t have the heart to look.