Recently I was riding the LA subway. At one stop, a young mother gets on with a toddler who is holding a dripping, messy popsicle. I groan to myself as I see this apparently irresponsible, self-involved parent allow her child to soil a public transportation system that is already questionable at best. What did she think was going to happen? A frozen dessert inside a warm, SoCal subway? Given to a child who can barely hold it upright? How long before it falls off the stick altogether?
But then the mother appears to notice what is happening. At the next stop she darts out of the train, still holding her child in her arms, and darts back in without the popsicle. As the subway continues on its way, she carefully crouches down with her child and removes a few napkins from her backpack. And then my mind is blown: she hands the napkins to her daughter and shows her how to clean up her own mess. And the clouds parted, and the angels sang. Hallelujah! A child has been taught how to behave! Hallelujah! There is hope for the future!