a toddler's mood escalating toward a tantrum is redirected toward joy upon the discovery a young man on a small white bicycle doing spins and jumps in the square.
watching students flow out of a university building. not a primary colored parka or a pair of sneakers to be seen.
having grandma put the kids to bed while we walk ten minutes to the theater.
the new Belgian restaurant that opened on our block.
roasted chestnuts from street vendors.
the old women selling flowers. the bent-in-half posture, her headscarf. the way she grasps in both hands a bouquet of flowers freshly cut from her own garden. when you buy a bunch, she slowly wraps the wet stems in newspaper. she is unfailingly polite. she is old. her flowers are fresh and fragrant. of course I buy two bunches, one for each child to carry home to grandma.
the Roma women lofting brassieres into the air at the metro entrance. imploring you with the promise of a good price.
Christmas markets and mulled wine.
the automatic and effusively generous offer of help when boarding a tram with a stroller and two toddlers.
no car. only public transportation.
pacing yourself with the crowd.
choosing to stand on the right or walk on the left down the escalator to the metro train.
being deeply immersed in a novel on my iPhone while seated on a tram and at the same time scanning the doorway at each stop to see if my seat can be offered up to a commuter who needs it.
not multi-tasking so much as living-connected.