(I want to share this story with you all ~ happened fairly recently, when I was in the parking garage of one of our local malls.
I move most slowly now, each step watched carefully ~ especially when I am away from home. Which is weird, because I am more apt to be alone at home than I am in the mall ~ **shrug** yeah… I’m strange. :)
But, THAT is a different story arc altogether. What I saw in the garage was so typical of what I see with families everywhere now, I want people to see what they do to children. I hate it soooo much ~ You be the judge of why.)
I’d done my walking in the mall, I was exhausted and just wanted to go home. I tire so very easily now, the muscles in my back and hips simply do not work properly anymore.
The thought of home was all that was on my mind, if there had been any traffic to speak of going in and out the parking lot, I’d not be here today to tell this story.
I was two cars from my own, and jogged out of my stupor by the right rear quarter panel of one of those REAAAALY long pickem’ up trucks ~ the kind that get gallons to the mile?
Yeah. Huge and Red and Shiny, with dual wheels on the rear axle ~ and hay bales in bed.
“ugh” my mind said, when I realized that I’d need to go out of my way to get around the inevitable trailer hitch that goes hand in hand with a big personal hauler like that.
I made it around the truck without a problem, not even so much as grazing my arm on the hitch cover.
My poor little beater of a car was parked around the other side of this monster, literally in the shadow of this truck ~ I hadn’t room to back my car out because the wheel well of the duals would take the entire passenger side of my car off if I even tried.
Oh lordy, I was exhausted ~ but there was nothing I could do but wait.
I climbed into the drivers seat of my own beastie, and settled in to try to be patient with the owner of the monster truck.
That truck was so far off the ground that I could clearly see under it and into the car parked on the other side.
In that car, there was a family ~ how I’d missed them on my stumble to my own car, I will never understand, because the two “adults” in the car were yelling at the top of their lungs at the littlest occupant ~ small, dark hair, big green eyes. Could not have been more than 6 years old.
Stuck in her car seat in the back of that car clutching a mangy old bear was… ME.
I was completely shocked to be looking at myself, the self I see in old photographs of our family.
After a few minutes of utter surprise, staring into that little ones face, I began to hear words.
Hurtful, terrible words.
The kind that make a child shrivel up and die inside.
Not once did the “adults” lay a hand on the child, they didn’t have to. The damage of their words was evident in the little girls (my) manner ~ I could tell by the look on her (my) face she’d (I’d) heard it all before…
I prayed hard and fast.
I prayed for the little one to make it through her life, to one day forget what they said and be herself, to accept herself as she is, and learn that she has amazing things to offer this world…I prayed that the adults (her parents I think) would see and hear what they were doing, and stop in time to undo the damage…
As I sat there, I could feel a stare.
Looking up, I could see the “adults” looking at me. The horror of what I heard and saw must have clearly shown on my face. I couldn’t help it. I just lived through the worst thing I’ve felt in many, many years…
They flushed, the red creeping from their necks to their hair lines.
Then shame poured from their faces. Mom said “I’m sorry” through the windows and under the truck…
I pointed at the little girl and said back through the glass;
“tell her, not me.”
The spell then broke, I was myself again.
Waiting patiently for the owner of the Big Shiny Red truck with the duallys on the back…
Before they drove away, both parents apologized profusely to the little one. They took no more notice of me as they did so, making me feel as though their apologies were genuine. They were not acting for me, they were focused on her.
While I fear for the little girl, there wasn’t much else I could do. They were not physically hurting her, and they truly did not look as though there was any chance of physical violence toward one another or the girl.
I am not left untouched by this ~ we shall see where THAT goes, eh?