Saturday, October 24, 2009

Treasures of CdE

One of the most affectionate, she's an obvious favorite of visitors because she is drawn to the arms of foreigners. She hardly talks, but is learning more and more. I'd say she is doing quite well considering the setbacks dealt her by her mother. They call her restless, which is a good description of her constant motion. She's always on the move, always getting into things, usually happy, always curious. JA is one of a kind, and she surprised me today. Developmentally way behind, she did a puzzle with me today. She didn't get many of the pieces by herself the first time, but when we did it again, she remembered where every piece went. Wow. A hidden gift found in a foam cut-out puzzle of Bolivia. She has a tenderness and motherliness with dolls beyond what I have seen before with little kids. We read books together, which was a treat for both of us, and we colored. She doesn't know the names of the colors, but she can group them by color really well. Oh, what a treasure those scribbled sheets were to her. Oh, what a treat some one-on-one time was for me.

I was warned about her. N is one to watch. I went in prepared, always trying to know every detail of her homework so that I wouldn't fall for any tricks. I saw her eyes flash the first week as she recognized the competition. I's a tricky house, a tricky situation, but the hard shell is softening. N isn't so tough with me anymore. In fact, she almost seems to enjoy our time together. She's smiling more. She's doing her assignments. She is better at division that I am. I see that her behavior problems come out her need to look out for herself and her attempts to look out for others. She is one of the ones that tugs at my heart, that I want to look after. I have been really blessed. I look forward to our time together. I get a kick out of her smile and the way she scratches her head. I'm really glad I know her.

She's a pincher. I've gotten two notes from her kindergarten teacher this week about pinching, but she's a cute kid. It's what she knows; it's what she's learned. Inside frustration comes out in pinching fingers. I get that. She doesn't have a bad heart; she's just in a tough situation. Her upper lip is almost always beaded in sweat, but almost always accompanied by a smile. C just wants to read with me, hang out with someone who will play with her, be silly with someone.

Their dad came today. I found out on Wednesday they're brother and sister, and I found out today that they were abandoned. Their mom and dad visit sometimes. I don't know the situation, but what in the world must be going on in 4-yr-old JG's head? He's a little boy with a man's world of understanding. He takes care of 3-yr-old L. She has a crazy mop of hair, he's always shaved. Her teeth are broken or missing, his teeth are perfect. I never saw the similarity until recently. It's in their smiles, their bright eyes, their round cheeks, the way they mischievously tilt their heads, their off-kilter little-kid-run. What will their futures be like?

Many tears. Tears of fear. They have done something wrong and will likely get a spanking. Tears of frustration. Homework stands in the way of playtime. Tears of pain. Another kid slammed them into the wall, hit their face, or hurt their eye with a coat zipper. Tears in every house. Babies are hungry or just like to yell. Kids are overlooked, overworked, overtired. Tears express the heart better than any words can.

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