Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It begins.

I began work at Madre Theresa daycare and home for hindered women this Monday. I however was not the only newcomer this week. Tati of course began with me at this work site. Additionally an adorable baby boy who would not stop crying joined the others. So naturally they paired us up. Visceral urges to cry, scream, or shout our uneasiness at some thing or someone amidst unfamiliar environments often occur before anything else. I found myself at a loss to imagine the home, parents, and possibly siblings of this child the same way he struggled to cope with this loud new place without his mother. As the other children played on the other side of the fence, the baby and I strolled by the pictures and names of the others as I hummed songs I used to go to bed to. He was reluctant to calm down but could not resist glimpsing the faces of the other children. Fatigue from his crying fits started to chip away at his prejudices. His head bobbing and hand beginning to clench my shirt, he drifted off to sleep. I had been and still am in awe of and curious about the nuns who run the center. Day in and day out their loving, purposeful, and dogged consistency pervaded their demeanor. To choose to love the being you hold in your arms is one thing, quite tangible and rewarding. To give all you have to everyone and all with no expectations but your best effort in the name of the presence of an unprovable being is another. I will have to mull that over some more. Feeding, holding, cleaning, and playing certainly made it clear how pertinent such work is, as did my experiences with the older women this morning. I then wonder sometimes why there do not exist more people doing such work aside from any differences in belief.. More specifically, why I did not not do more work like it. I certainly should have. Hence my wish to do a gap year of this nature. My whole life I have thrived on the resources, time, and effort of others and to wait so long to do the same for others seemed to undermine the type of environment for others that catalyzed my growth. I had a one in a million mom who made more than I ever could have imagined out of what statistically was a recipe for a drop out student in and out of jail. The work I do here or did through my school or with my family reflected what I was taught to value most and accounts for my most fulfilling experiences. The stresses of grades, college, and SAT scores should fall far behind our yearning to make meaningful change possible in the real world. To think that I, or anyone else for that matter, might not have had experiences such as these scares me as much as it fosters a deep appreciation for them.

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