Monday, September 12, 2011

I've Fallen in Love

My friends might be shouting, "Finally!" but before you get too carried away....

I met him in Mexico over the weekend, and he is eleven years old. I know--I warned you not to get too excited. We worked together at the orphanage, drying dishes, setting the table, and he taught me a little Spanish. Jonathan has dark hair, dark eyes, a darling face, and a helpful heart! I couldn't speak Spanish, and he knew only a little English. But when I finished drying a dish, I would hold it up, and he'd point to a cupboard, or shelf, with a cute grin that said, I like helping this blonde gringo, who knows nothing about my world. He and (beautiful, ten-year old) Maria teased me about being so old, and as he helped me set the table, he made sure he put every cup in perfect alignment with mine. After lunch, I played volleyball with a few of the others, but I couldn't help remembering my first trip to an orphanage as a college student. I wrote this short monologue after the visit:

I met him in a Romanian orphanage. We were there to be with the children, and most of the people I came with, immediately started playing with the outgoing kids. They were laughing and having fun, but I looked for something else. And I found him in the corner. He had the most beautiful, bright-blue eyes, but he barely looked at me. He just sat there. No smile. No friendly greeting. A scared heart. Scared to open up, or get involved. Scared to care...
That was the moment I knew, I wanted to take him home. 

I remember leaving the orphanage, and the same boy I wrote about was running after our van, waving wildly with a bright smile on his face. It was such a small thing--to notice and care. In a world that seems to favor the motto, whatever...I don't care. I never want to forget that the greatest gift you can give a child is to care.

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