Best day ever
September 24, 2012
There is a fairly big water park within easy driving distance from here and every summer now, I grab a handful of teenagers and go for the day. It’s literally one of my favourite days of the summer holiday time. I absolutely love water parks and have no problem spending the entire day there. So worth every penny.
This year I brought buddy child and three of her friends. One friend that came along, this was her first time going. She’s the cutest little thing and was so excited to go. She has a bit of a rough home environment – mom’s new boyfriend doesn’t like her and dad’s new wife doesn’t like her. Mom lives way out in the country and doesn’t drive so she has spent most of her summer at her moms literally doing nothing. Without a car she can’t get a job, go see friends unless they live in walking distance, that type of thing. You can imagine what a treat this was for her.
The day was mostly a ton of fun. The kids ran off and did their thing and I lazed around and did my thing and at the end of the day we reconnected before heading home. That’s when the girls fill me in on one incident earlier in the day.
Buddy-child and two of her friends are in line for a ride that this particular girl didn’t want to go on. She was just hanging around in a designated waiting area for her friends to go on the ride and come back down. While she’s waiting, a man (adult) bumps into her. She turns around and he looks at her and says “why don’t you watch your fat ass” and then stomps off.
Friend was too shocked to say anything. She stood there and waited for him to leave and then burst into tears.
Who says that????
You see, friend is a little overweight and as most teenage girls, very self-conscious about it. It took a lot of nerve for her to come to a water park where the only thing you wear is a bathing suit for the entire day. She normally avoids things like water parks because of her issues with her body. She had managed to overcome that for the day and was truly enjoying herself until this rude and obnoxious man ruined it all in 20 seconds flat.
He’s lucky I wasn’t there.
We talked about her body image issues on the way home. The fact that her parents’ partners don’t like her just add to her sense of not being likeable on any level. Everything is hard for kids who don’t feel like they fit in anywhere and most teenagers feel like that on a good day – give them some real solid reasons and it can be devastating. This girl is 17 and has already been in an abusive relationship. Nothing like a stranger to make her feel totally unworthy – and for what? Because he thought she was in the way? (again, lucky I wasn’t there)
Even with all this, this cute little girl says to me as we are starting the drive home? “thanks for the best day ever”.