LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
And it’s not just about what you buy at the mall. It’s the people inside it, the other teenagers who are looking at you and you are looking at in return. Sitting in a mall food court is not just a lesson, it’s practically a degree in what kind of teenager you are and what kind you want to be. Everyone is grouped in mangy circles, like paired with like, everyone laughing, chatting, sharing secrets and watching, watching, watching. Sitting at those tables, I got fashion, hair and make-up tips, I learned about boys, I saw teenagers from other schools and thought they were amazing.
I was thinking about all this as I walked aimlessly through the mall last week. Knowing Gabrielle was experiencing all this made me happy and excited. Would I have preferred to have her beside me holding my hand and begging to go to Build-A-Bear? Absolutely. But there comes a time when you’ve got to let go and last Sunday, around noon, in Fayette Mall, I did.