It was when I was a college student in Tokyo. One day, I had an appointment to meet my friend at a train station. My friend did not live in Tokyo, and she needed to change trains a few times to come to our meeting place. When I got to the station, I received a text message from my friend saying that one of her trains was delayed, so she would arrive about half an hour later. Very conveniently, I found a bakery nearby, and decided to spend the waiting time enjoying some snack in the bakery.
Soon after I sat at a table by the window with my apple cheese bread and a glass of water, a little boy and his mother came and sat at the table next to mine. They were on a casual morning outing, and the mother was carrying a backpack full of childcare items. The two of them sat facing each other with a basket of small pieces of different kinds of bread.
The boy was about two or three years old, and was full of energy and curiosity. He simply couldn’t sit still. He was either busy looking around, moving his body, or talking to his mother. While his mother arranged the bread for both of them, took out the hand sanitizer, and made sure that everything was in order, the boy’s attention was on the surrounding environment. He asked his mother about each thing that he saw inside the shop, what they were, followed by why-questions. His mother was busy handling the things on the table, but did her best to answer the boy’s questions. After making sure that the boy had cleaned his hands with the sanitizer, she smiled at him and said, “Let’s eat!”
The boy was still busy looking around, but enticed by his mother’s invitation, he picked up a piece of bread and took a bite. Now, the bread became his entire world.
The boy shouted. The mother was still cleaning her hands, but looked up upon hearing the boy’s exclamation.
“Is it yummy?”
The words weren’t enough for the boy to express his emotion, and he started to shake his whole body on the chair to show how much he was enjoying the bread.
“Mommy, this is YUMMY!”
The boy repeated. The mother was delighted and beamed at the boy.
“Okay, now Mommy also wants to try one. Let’s see.”
“YUMMY, YUMMY YUMMY!!”
The boy flapped his arms as he smiled at his mother. Overjoyed, the mother happily talked to the boy about different things while he enjoyed his bread. It looked more like a one-way conversation since the boy was too busy exploring his bread and expressing his joy of being with his mother, but it didn’t matter. They were both extremely happy.
While the mother was busy talking, the boy finished eating. And the moment he finished, his eyes found a new interest. The boy climbed down the chair, and started to dash toward the entrance. The mother quickly packed the remaining bread in a bag, cleared the table, grabbed her backpack, and hurried after the boy.
It was a very brief stay. When they left, I was till munching on my apple cheese bread. But because of the intensity, the moment felt much longer. As I finished my bread in quiet, I reflected upon the joyful time between the mother and the boy and imagined the day ahead of them with a smile.