On a recent glorious sunny spring day, I stood watching people at a skateboard park.
Although school was in, there were a couple of teens there and a dad teaching his little girl skateboarding.
None of them were tremendously competent, but I was simply passing the time, enjoying the entertainment.
The little girl was outfitted with a helmet, knee and wrist guards, studiously and hilariously trying to do what her dad could do.
I smiled, recalling my eldest son doing the same thing. He still skateboards to keep in shape for snowboarding.
Suddenly a loud young woman’s voice broke my thoughts.
“ Why does that ‘b***h’ old lady have to be here? What the f**k is she doing? Is she watching us?”
Barely glancing in the direction of the voice, I glimpsed a pretty young girl crushed up against one of the skaters.
Again, her voice yelled out, more insistent and louder.
‘What the f**k is that old lady doing here? What the f***k does she think she is doing? F*****g old lady, should go home. Stay in your f***g rocking chair.’
I suddenly realized that the ‘she’- the old lady- was me.
The little girl crashed on the pavement. As her dad rushed to comfort her, I decided to leave.
She glared at me, radiating unsheathed rage.
Have you ever had one of those moments, a moment that you keep rethinking, rehashing and revisiting, trying to puzzle out?
I looked into her eyes.
Startled, I saw intense grief laced with her rage stare back at me.
I yearned to reach out and comfort her.
I yearned to walk over to her, to ask her why.
But, I did not know how.
Nor could I, right then.
For within my arms, I held the reason for being at the park- my two-year-old granddaughter.
Holding this little girl, called ‘my little princess’ by her mother, I could only wonder –
Hadn’t this young woman’s mother once held her, just like this, maybe in this very park?
I wondered at her rage, her anger, her grief.
How did the innocence I held in my arms become this angry foul-mouthed melancholy teen girl?
It took everything,
Everything in my power not to go to her and ask:
Please tell me how to reach out to you,
Tell me How.
A few moments, to impact this rage in your life.
The question haunts me still.