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The Button Pusher

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

Post by Randee Bergen (www.randeebergen.wordpress.com.)

The pole on the street corner concealed her body, her hands the only evidence of her presence as they clutched the rounded handles of the umbrella stroller before her.

He sat, seemingly complacent, his two little mitts steadying a small cup in his lap, the straw protruding almost to his lips.

Traffic zoomed by as I sat in the left-hand turn lane.

Abruptly, he squirmed, then contorted his body up and back, upsetting his drink. His right arm reached high, toward his mom. Something. There was something he wanted. He twisted further. Stretched. Tried to get his knees into the seat for leverage to push himself up and turn around.

The hands, well, one of them, immediately shot from the stroller handle to his arm. Slender, yet powerful, fingers encircled the smallest part of his upraised wrist, grasped it, squeezed.

Oh no, don’t you dare. Don’t you dare jerk on that child’s arm, don’t yank him back into place. Talk to him. Have you talked to him? Asked him to sit back down and stay safe? Come out from behind the stroller, from behind that pole, look into his eyes, explain your thinking to him.

Don’t do it, lady. Don’t push my buttons.

But she did.

I cringed, as if that grip was tightening around my wrist. My muscles clenched, anticipating the discomfort of the wrenching at that peculiar angle.

As the little body rose from the stroller, losing all contact with it save for the thin strap that was now across his knees, she forced his hand—open wide, fingers reaching, eager —against the pole. Into the big round button.

Mission accomplished, she released him. He landed squarely in his seat, righted his drink, and beamed with satisfaction. For he was The Button Pusher.
 

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