One thing that happened while I was helping Pammy out is I remembered how unfair the world is and how adults are such jerks.
For example, Max and Cas have been careening around on bikes at the park across the street from their house since the day they brought the bikes home 4 years ago. The park is a part of them, as much as Mommy’s car, or Daddy’s coat. They’ve spilled a little blood along the paved paths, pedaling maniacally, braking demonically – but all in good fun, you know.
Well, the fun is over. The Disc (Frisbee) Golfer’s have moved in, and their permitted territory is vast. From the basketball court to the far reaches of the gentle slope that meets the jogging thru-way at least a block away, every hopped, skipped and biked pathway is in danger of being strafed by flying plastic discs (hmmm….I almost wrote, “dicks” and that’s not Freudian, sister.).
“Why can’t we ride there?” Max asked, and then Caspian, “Yeah, why?” Punctuation and syntax cannot do justice to the plaintive anger in their voices. “We’re not going to leave!” they said. Pammy shrugged. “You gotta do what you gotta do,” she told them. Pammy has never been one to back down from fighting injustice. One by one, the golfers – most of them in need of a bath – approached to educate my sister on the hazards, and to persuade the boys to take their bikes elsewhere. As they pointed and gestured, though, it became obvious – there is nowhere left at the park to ride safely.
The boys are justifiably angry. It may not be the first experience they have had with injustice, but it certainly is one of the most public. This is not a minimal loss – some one has stolen their backyard, but there is no way to get it back. Max and Cas rode defiantly for a few more minutes, but the discs whizzing by were just too dangerous. Pammy put on her “I mean business” voice, and I joined in. Pretty soon we were out of harms way, mesmerized by a gopher digging out his burrow close to the edge of the bike path. “I think the cracks in the ground are because the gopher dug out underneath here and it’s going to collapse,” Max said. “Hmmm,” I said, “that’s an interesting idea.”
Without another word, Max crouched down and began pulling up clumps of grass, digging away with his small, determined fingers, looking for evidence of his hypothesis.