Today, the universe totally messed with me. I’m not gonna lie, today was tough. Who am I kidding? It’s still tough. It’s messy. Like the caterpillar must look in the cocoon before the butterfly escapes the binding.
This morning Jen asked me to interview the children for a piece of the project. I did not and do not feel up to this task. And this floors me. Who am I that I am literally afraid of asking questions to these children? What does it mean that I am not up to the task? And, make no mistake, I was afraid. Afraid that I would not get any more of an answer than I had heard from them yet, which is to say smiles and giggles. Afraid that they will only say stock answers like “I like to learn.” Afraid that I will find out for sure that I am unworthy of the abundance of being with these kids.
So, today was brutal. The start this morning colored everything that happened all day. All I saw anywhere was my uselessness. At one point, when there was truly nothing for me to do, I sat on the stairs and tried to write my feelings down. This is as far as I got…
Today I want to go home. Not because I am uncomfortable or overwhelmed. But because today, I feel abundantly and exquisitely useless. It is paralyzing me. I wish
Then two kids came up to me and asked me if I had pictures of my kids. So, as they sat on the stairs beside me, I pulled up picture after picture of my kids and told them about them. Then two or three more would come up and want to see the pictures…then more. As they cycled in and out, probably about 15 kids and their teachers sat through my impromptu slideshow. One particularly inquisitive child, Manoj, quizzed me right away about each of my kids. Then, as new kids came up to see the pictures, Manoj would rush in to give the vital stats before the pictures even came up.
“That is Haley. She is 12.”
“Grant wants to be a ninja.”
“Do you know how old she is?” (pointing to me)
After I had gone through all the pictures multiple times, a child came up (Rajesh) who, all agreed, could dance just like Michael Jackson. I am not able to pass up an opportunity like this. The kids cheer me on as I chase him into a classroom to show me his best Michael Jackson moves.
“You better make her happy! If she is not happy, she will not come back.”
This convinced him for some reason, which is bizarre to me. So, without music, without a stage, without shoes on…Rajesh killed it.
“AH! That is from Smooth Criminal! (this is me)
“OOOOHHHH Thriller” (me again)
I have asked him to dance again for me tomorrow so I can capture video. If I can get him, I will post it so you can see his sweet moves. J
Then Steph distracted everyone and I was again alone. I began to pick up where I left off. But I had no more opened the document, when again, I was surrounded. So, I began asking them questions…and they began answering them. I have only just begun this project, which I will pursue in earnest tomorrow. By the end of the day, I was not ready to leave, and they wanted more. They wanted to tell their stories. And I told them that there are people on the other side of the world who really want to hear them. I told them about you.
So, I will be pulling double duty on the posting for the next few days as I process their stories through here…pictures and all. You will be surprised at how hopeful and joyful they all are. I will warn you, however, that you are likely to love them forever and ever once you read their stories.
My whiny document never got worked on, actually. It is not that I feel better…it is more that I have work to do now that is more important than writing that piece out. And maybe that’s the point.
P.S. Formatting all messed up, and I am too tired to fix it. 😛