Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Monday, February 4, 2008

Waitress, Apply Thyself!

"He who teaches children learns more than they do."
-German Proverb

I worked as a waitress while still in school and on the dimmer days met my fair share of drunk patrons, angry diners, imaginary customers and whatnot. Yes, quite possibly imaginary although I could describe the lady even today with ease. Ah, but Friends, that is another story for another hour.
This one is concerned mainly with a perfectly ordinary day and a stunning revelation. It was a period with few customers and there was a quiet lull. I took advantage of the slow afternoon and, taking a wet cloth, proceeded to clean a table that had moments earlier been vacated. I was near to the only occupied table. Slowly, slowly I wiped in rhythmic patterns. There was, truly, not much else to do and it is pleasant to have at least one simple task when one is required to look busy all the time.
From behind me I heard a baby speaking, no more than two years old- but it was not the talk of a child. She spoke not of juice nor of Mama.
She said, distinctly, "hey Lady- knuckle down!"
She was speaking directly to me; not an adult soul at that table was paying attention and they were scarcely credible witnesses. I could hardly believe what I had heard with my own burning ears. The baby was looking intently at me.
Had a little child just uttered those words? More to the point and more relevant to my life: had she meant them?
I think of her often.

(Courtesy of Webster's Dictionary: 'Knuckle Down-' to apply oneself earnestly or vigorously.)


Mary said...

I LOVED this!!!!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Thank you!
Thanks so much for stopping by. I went to your blog today and saw one of your posts about your little one asking for dessert- absolutely wonderful. It made me smile :)


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