I was hooping one Friday, definitely in a funk because of life and the
weather. Me and my friend Taylor had originally decided to hoop at a park near North Berkeley Bart and then decided to go to the Oakland Rose Garden, only to find out there wasn’t any space to hoop there. So we moved to a little strip of parkland next to Lakeshore Ave. in Oakland.
I definitely felt better with the move, cuz when I hoop I want to hoop dammit and the spot we found at other place was a) too small, b) on a hill, and c) IT WAS ON A HILL! I hate walking up hills.
So after the big whoop-to-do in getting there (before I got to the first park, I was multi-tasking with getting lunch and buying batteries for my mini-boom box only to find out I got the Ds when I should have got the Cs, another contributer to my sourpuss mood) we finally start hooping. We are in the park and since the park faces a major street of course we get spectators: moms with strollers, teens and pre-teens, drivers, etc. One woman stared at us the entire time from her house. We beckoned her to come out to play but all she would do is stare. And then there was one little girl.
I watched her walking down the sidewalk. She would look at us and then talk to her mom and dad. She got closer and closer, looking and then talking animatedly with her parents until she was finally in front of us, and then she changed. She kept her head down and wouldn’t look at us. My heart broke for her, maybe I was projecting because I could see myself there. The shy little girl with a rolly-polly stomach not stepping up because I felt too shy to do so. I felt a creeping sadness for her shyness. I called out to her and said, “Hey, want to hoop?”
She smiled and asked her mom and dad if she could. And then she walked shyly to where the hoop was and she did it! She did it two times, saying to her parents, “I told you I could do it.” And when she was done she hopped, skipped, and jumped a little on the way back to her parents. She was all smiles and giggles as she walked away, back to her animated self.
I was so happy I could give her that moment to be herself (sourpuss mood lifted!). And I decided at that moment what an excellent way to end the day’s hoop practice.
xoxo – qc