On our first day of vacation at the Grand Canyon, we drove into the East gate and stopped at the Watchtower. The watchtower sits close to the edge of the Canyon, with four stories to climb up for spectacular views. The nearness to the entrance gate and the spectacular views means many people stop there for their first view of the canyon.
Which means crowds.
Even on a Wednesday.
We arrived close enough to sunset that most of the other people there were also arriving at the end of a long day of travelling.
At least, that's what i'm convinced was the reason for the large, red-headed woman used to explain why it was okay to scream at her children in front of everyone. The child was about to take a picture that his mother didn't want taken (with a digital camera, no less); the picture was not of his mother, so I'm not really sure the reason for the woman's violent reaction,
Through the course of our visit, we crossed paths again with the woman, her husband, and their three children several times. The three siblings were all red-heads, and all very striking, good looking kids. Each will definitely grow up breaking hearts.
Assuming they can overcome the verbal beatdowns they receive from their parents.
In the twenty or so minutes our lives crossed with their, neither parent said one nice thing to any of the children. Worse, the father's voice was accusatory, the mother's dripping with contempt.
I wanted to take the kids aside, especially the boy, and talk to them. I wanted to tell him it gets better, that, no, this is not what life is, and that yes, thinking for himself is a good thing. I wanted to give him a hug, and tell if he keeps trying, he'll do wonderful amazing things. I wanted to encourage him to try, even when people say no. I wanted to tell him that not all women are like his mother, and, yes, he can do right.
And I wanted to tell him that his sister was skilled in parental manipulation, and that he'd need to learn how to play the game. Oh, kid, learn to play the game, and grow bigger than this shitty childhood life dealt you.