First it was the kids with the black Immaculata t-shirts. Maybe 10 of them. They range in age from about 3 to 10 or 11. Cute kids. The little girls in flowery hair things, the boys with a cowlick or two.
I’m pretty sure the little ones don’t know why they’re there. I wonder what they tell them.
They stand part way on clinic property, but we don’t say anything. We’re glad they’re out of the way of sidewalk traffic, at least a little bit.
It’s hot today ~ in the 90′s by 7:30. The children are saying the rosary, and periodically, they kneel on the sidewalk. I think that must be dreadfully uncomfortable.
As I walk by them, one or two of them catch my eye, and I smile at them.
Then it’s the baby. Maybe 6 to 8 months old. Cute little peanut, in his onsie. I assume it’s a “he” because there’s no pink dress or headband to scream “girl here.”
The parents hold him up like a display. He looks a little confused. And why wouldn’t he be? Where else would his parents expose him to this heat for an hour?
Later in the morning, about 7:45, the buses arrive. I don’t know where they’re from. The youth emerge from them ~ droves of them ~ wearing blue t-shirts.
We’re standing on the corner watching, just a little appalled. They spill out and up the street.
Some of them ~ adults maybe ~ wear orange t-shirts. I don’t know what they say. There are some in old-school nun and priest garb. But most of them wear blue t-shirts that say “Imago Dei” and a bunch of other stuff too small to read.
They line the sidewalk across the street, holding this sign:
The sign says: Worldwide Catholic Youth Pray for the end of Abortion
There are lots of them.
It makes me sad that some of those kids are going to need abortions someday. I don’t know how they’ll process that.
Then it reminded me of the time back in my early days of escorting, back before I really had the “de-escalating” idea down. There was a group of youth ~ not quite that many, but a bunch ~ standing in that same space. The leader was a middle aged woman with a shrill voice.
I know that because, as I crossed the street towards them, I turned and said to my fellow escort, loudly, “Wow, and one out of four of them will have an abortion.”
The leader heard me and totally freaked out, screaming and yelling, ranting and raving about how depraved and awful we were, so loudly that I kind of almost felt bad. Kind of. When I wasn’t trying not to giggle.
But I looked at all those kids today, and thought the same thing.