Boy oh boy. I remember being a teenager. It sucked. Even if it occasionally seemed fun at the time, overall, those are some rough years for a multitude of reasons. And, yesterday confirmed my suspicions that it still sucks and is still rough.
I was minding my own business doing some yard work (Jasper and his papa were in the house napping, lest you think I had left my wee man unattended). The school bus for the middle/high school stops in front of our house. I was in the back yard, but we are on a corner, so I could see the kids getting off the bus. There are normally about 3 or maybe 4 kids that are dropped off here, but today it was about 12. So, the bus drives off and they are all standing around. There is some shouting, of which I couldn't quite understand, but I was only half paying attention. I figured they were just some kids hanging out before they headed off to their respective homes... then I hear a thud, some scuffling, and yelling - the kind that involves egging on a fight. Uh-oh. I turn around and look up to see two girls on the ground in the middle of the street wrestling with each other while the other kids stand and look - half cheering, half laughing. Both of which are horrifying to me under the circumstance.
So, there are, like I said, about 12 teenagers - the majority of which are larger than me - and most of them were boys. So, I figured if it didn't break up in a moment or it looked like it was getting brutal, I'd call the police and go over to try to ? - what I didn't know. Well, it broke up moments later, one girl bleeding (I heard the other one tell her she was bleeding - I didn't see any actual blood). Two of the regular bus-riding kids started walking off toward their house the other way, and then two boys looked over and saw me watching. They stepped back over to the remaining kids, and then it seemed to break up. (I guess that makes me an adult after all.) The one girl who was fighting - who looked to be about 15 (but, I'm a bad judge of those things these days), walked on the far side of the street with a boy, and the rest of the group came down the side I was on, but in the street. I didn't acknowledge them, nor them me. I was watching them though... the girl was smiling and laughing, and acting tough and proud - clearly she was the winner. And then... I saw the police car coming down the street toward them. I wondered who called, thinking it might have been the neighbor whose side yard the melee took place in.
I realized that one of the girls fighting was the little girl who lives across the street from me. She is barely 13; she lost. Ugh. Can Jasper just never be a teenager, please? Or at least, can he never be a mean, defiant teenager?
So, after a bit, the police came down and stopped to ask if I saw anything. I told him and told him where the girl lived who lost the fight - apparently the other girl wouldn't and was given a nice ride home from another officer. It was the bus driver who called the police. Good for him/her! The officer who spoke to me stopped by the little girl's house, but didn't stay long. I was actually surprised she answered the door.
I know that little girl that lives across the street has a few problems, which I won't go into here, but it sure did make me think. I hated high school. I don't really think there is an amount of money great enough to make me relive those days. I can't imagine it is any easier now to be a teenager - in fact I'm sure it is much harder.
I guess the toddler years might not be so bad after all.