“The world is seldom what it seems …”

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This is me watching one of my daughter’s flag football games this past summer with two of my favorite things: coffee and my Converse. Yes, my 10-year-old daughter Gaby, who is 70 pounds soaking wet, played football with the boys this summer. She was the only girl in the league. She loves the game, and, she’s pretty good, too. She caught some passes, gained some yards, and, scored some points. Her team even won the championship this year. But, this story isn’t about Gaby playing football …

One Saturday morning, I was watching Gaby’s game, and I noticed a cute teenage girl with her mother sitting near the stands where I was seated. The girl had dirty blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, and wore black, thick-rimmed glasses and Ugg boots. She was, maybe, 14-years-old, and adorable. Yep, there’s that word again! Anyway, it was cold that morning, and, so the young girl decided to cuddle up with her mother. She sat on the woman’s lap, and the woman wrapped the girl in the covers that were wrapped around herself, and held her, like a mother kangaroo holding her joey in her pouch. It was a very sweet moment of mother-daughter love and a snapshot of pure youthful innocence. And, I hoped that, in 4 or so years, my own daughter would still be as sweet and innocent as she is now at 10, and as sweet and innocent as that adorable girl was at 14. I hoped, too, that our relationship would be as strong and as sincere as theirs was.

But, “the world is seldom what it seems,” said 18th century English writer Samuel Johnson …

So, later that afternoon, I was driving to the comic book store, and I stopped at a red light. I watched as a group of emo-ish teenagers crossed the street. Two girls and three boys. I noticed, surprisingly, that one of the girls was the same cute young girl I had seen earlier that day at the football field. Same hair, same glasses, same Ugg boots. But the innocence was gone. She was smoking a cigarette, and, she was walking very closely next to a nose-pierced boy wearing heavy guy-liner. Their arms were wrapped around each other, and his hand was wedged deep into her back pocket, and hers into his. Then, I heard, through my cracked window, f-bombs dropping like a flock of birds over the Fukushima nuclear power plant, with one even coming straight from the mouth of little Miss Adorable, shortly after she took a drag from her cigarette!

The light turned green, and, I drove off, after a horn blew behind me. And, for some reason, I thought about that heartwarming Subaru commercial where the father is telling his baby girl, sitting in his car, the rules of driving. He hands her the keys, and we see that the baby girl is actually a teenager whom the father is giving his car to for the first time. She drives off, and, now, all I’m thinking is: “Where is that girl going!?!”

So, watch that Subaru commercial here:

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One thought on ““The world is seldom what it seems …”

  1. Pingback: “fill your home with happy” | My Heart Explodes

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