This line from an e. e. cummings poem sums up today for me. It was the kind of day I dreamed about having before I moved down here.
Many of the kids were going home today to spend Christmas with their families. While I’m always sad to see them leave, I couldn’t help but rejoice with them in their excitement to be going home for a few weeks. I got to visit with a number of their parents, and enjoyed talking with each one of them.
I also got to see off the kids who were going to the Bethel Ministries/Hope Haven camp in Chimaltenango this week. The kids have been looking forward to this and talking about it since August, and were beyond excited to be leaving with Dick and two of the volunteers, Matt and Jackie, who had come to pick them up.
And there were those who were sad to be “left behind,” either because they have no where to go, or because their families are not able to come yet. Ervin, especially, would sob inconsolably every time I walked away from him. Since I’m just getting over another cold, I had not planned on staying very long, but how could I leave him? Julio, while less vocal about his sadness, sat outside looking totally lost.
So we got out the bubbles, one of Julio’s favorite activities. It always takes him a while to be able to blow a bubble, having to work so hard to coordinate the muscles of his face, mouth and lips. When he finally got one, he was so excited. Ervin was more interested in playing in the bubble solution, but enjoyed himself as well. Miguel joined us, and managed to blow a few bubbles, again struggling as hard as Julio to do so. When I started “catching” a bubble on my wand for him to break with his hand, we has ecstatic, and it was great practice for him in using his hands in a controlled manner.
When they were all sufficiently wet from the bubbles, we switched to some activities requiring them to take turns and cooperate with each other. Even Ervin stuck with us this time, and the kids did a great job of working together. This is one of the things that bring me the most pleasure—seeing them interacting not just with me but with each other.
Finally, we went to the table and the kids helped me reorganize the foam puzzles. I’d forgotten that Bobby was inside, and one of the nurses brought him out since she saw he wanted to work with us. So the kids helped put the pieces into the puzzles, and again we worked on eye hand coordination and control. The best part was, the kids didn’t know they were doing “therapy,” and had a ball playing with the materials.
While I can tell you a couple of “educational” goals I worked on with each of the boys, what gave me the most pleasure was seeing four sad and lonely boys playing together and enjoying each other’s company. I’m so glad I got to share this with them.