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1966923_720817601302497_141006304_n“Daddy, watch me”

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.

As I turned to go, I caught the young woman’s eye.

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.

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,

Please tell me how to reach out to you,

Tell me How.

How can I return you to innocence for just for a few moments,

A few moments, to impact this rage in your life.

Please.

Tell me.

How?

The question haunts me still.

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