Posted in Comedy, Tragedy and What the F...?

Life Lessons From a Pack of Teenaged Girls

locker roomWalking into the locker room after my swim, I heard them before I saw them, a giggling, chatty pack of them. Teenaged girls. As I approached my locker, I noted that they were everywhere, a veritable swarm of locusts taking up space with towels, bikinis, lip gloss, incessant texting, and talking. I waded through them, “excuse me, you are sitting in front of my locker. Excuse me, I need to get to my…thank you.” Youthful energy smacking me in my face each step of the way.

One young woman, adorable in her black and white bikini, also wore a grey wool hat. She stood in front of the full-length mirror adjusting it as I struggled out of my wet bathing suit and into street clothes. I guess that’s the new look for bikinis, but it seems like it would be so hot. Then I heard her friend say “How are you going to swim if you don’t get your face wet?” She put an arm around her as black and white bikini pulled off the grey wool hat, revealing a totally bald head. “My eyelashes and eyebrows are beginning to fall out too and what if the water makes it worse?”

“Don’t worry. You look cute.” The swarm of teenaged locusts suddenly morphed into something other than what I had imagined. Six young, kind women who under normal circumstances in my book, would be overly concerned with how they looked and who they were seen with—because that’s the cluelessness of being 15, right? Wrong. Oh so wrong. I bore witness to six young angels, one of them bald and obviously dealing with sickness and suffering that no fifteen year old should have to deal with, and all of her friends who had brought her to the pool to swim; who rallied round her with love, support and protection. “You look cute,” another one of them echoed and then they disappeared—off to the pool in their little pack.

In an ordinary moment in an ordinary place, I was blessed to experience an extraordinary hope. I am sometimes cynical and disheartened by a world grown harsh. But here, in the locker room at the local rec center, I found gentle inspiration in a gaggle of teenaged girls who embodied hope in the simple actions of what it truly means to be a human being.


Novelist, essayist, blogger, wife, dog-mommy, dancer, dreamer, grateful.

23 thoughts on “Life Lessons From a Pack of Teenaged Girls

  1. I live with two teenagers and sometimes when I pick them from their crowd of teenage friends at school or in town, I see them behave like normal people just before they notice me. Then the mask of embarrassment and posturing returns in a split second. But alas, it is too late, by then I’ve already thanked the stars that these little aliens will become good people before long 🙂 Thanks for your inspiring post.

  2. Thank you for writing this. I wish I read more stories like this. Because the good is there, the good outweighs the bad, but somehow in this day and age we’ve convinced ourselves that the bad is winning and we look out for it. I’m glad you were there to look out for and witness the good. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Your writing is a gift. Thanks for sticking around long enough to see the hat come off! Great story of redemption, love, and kindness. And, a reminder to look for the teacher in every person. A lesson needed With your blessing, I would love to share this post on my blog

  4. I love this post because teens can get a bad rap. The nasty ones are always shown in the news and on TV shows, but the majority of teens are good kids with good hearts. Just as these girls proved!

  5. Reblogged this on KaylaMiki Diaries and commented:
    I keep thinking about this… It goes along with one of my favorite quotes by Plato, “Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.” You never know when you’ll face a moment when you’re compelled to appreciate what you do have, maybe even take witness to an extraordinarily touching moment, or even learn something unexpectedly from another person or situation. Here’s to keeping your eyes and heart open…

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