Six people get on at the Cermak Blue Line stop, ranging in size 2' to 4'5." The mean height of the smallest four is 3 feet. These four bounce around in the aisle looking like Easter marshmallows in their puffy jackets while mother (4'5") pays fare. Receiving soft dictates from mom, little by little they find seats. The least mini lifts mini-est into a seat that she then shares. Pink mini with finger puppets on her mitten tips finds a seat across from mom. Mom, in red jacket, hood and gloves, sits down next to me holding breakfast remnants between paper plates. She directs the last standing, a 3' winter ninja, to a cozy seat between strangers. He does not object. His feet dangle between the adult legs of his neighbors. By mid-journey, he is practically snuggling with a Mexican Burl Ives.
The four minis are good travelers, except for Pinkie who maintains a steady moan for most of the trip - crabbiness veiled as indignation because she had to shift her legs for another passenger. When mom heads to the exit with scarcely a word, Pinkie remains seated with pout. Without one look back, mom and three minis proceed out the door. I gently nudge Pinkie. She springs to life, and door. Goodbye minis.
A young woman (4'4") who entered with minis, sees my act and gives me the little smile of a girl who wants it known that motherhood is not even a tiny speck in her mind.