Never To Old To Learn

I was bad today… I’ve been craving a Wendy’s Frosty for a couple of days now, so after running a couple of errands, I stopped for lunch. Had a burger, diet coke, and the Frosty. And it made me very, very happy.

Less than a minute after I sat down a group of teenagers came in; loud, boisterous, clothes-way-too-big-pull-up-your-pants-dammit teenage boys. I cringed. There was only one other person besides myself in the dining room when I sat down, and she was older than I am. I had visions of my nice, quiet, self indulgent lunch being ruined by rude kids.

Then, as if by design, this group of boys picked the tables right in front of the one I was sitting at. They plopped down trays piled high with burgers and fries, and were laughing so loud it almost echoed. I was prepared to grab hold on the edge of the table, lest I be sucked into the vortex when they started wolfing down all that food.

They all sat down.
In unison, they all bowed their heads.
And they prayed.

They gave thanks for the food they had, the roofs over their heads, and they asked for protection for the soldiers fighting the war. They asked that “our guys” be given the wisdom to treat their prisoners with justice and compassion. They asked that the families left behind be watched over, and for it all to come to a swift and fair end.

After a hearty “Amen!” the noise level escalated and they laughing began again. Just as loud. There were all the assorted gross noises that teenage boys make and find hysterically funny. French fries flying across the table.

They were being kids.
And I was so ashamed of myself.

There is nothing wrong with being a kid, being loud, having fun and letting your joy shine. Yet when they walked in, I assumed the worst. I’d forgotten the sheer joy of being a teenager with freedom, and I had forgotten that just being a teenager doesn’t also mean you’re going to be rude, obnoxious, and ungrateful.

Those boys were my friends and myself at that age.
We were loud. We prayed together.
I’d forgotten.

They’re probably good kids, the same as my friends and I were. We probably annoyed a lot of people, who never saw the other side of us. I never thought I’d be one of Those People, who automatically stereotype people.

Something for me to think about.
Oh, and kids… pull up your pants. Really.

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