Each day is a new day

At the end of the second day working with the children of Calderón, Henry said, “I can tell that every day is a new day in the baby room.” As I write this, he and Theo are reviewing each of the babies: Moisés, the energetic one who always smiles; James, the one who pushes; Samantha, a future Olympic medal winner; David, whom they are teaching to walk; and Steven, whom I personally watched fall apart when Karen had to leave today. He calls her “Mama.”

As for me, I was surprisingly happy to see my little rascals today. Tía Gaby’s room is full of energy, but when she challenges them they are focused and clearly love learning. Tía Gaby was especially tired. She smiled less and yelled more than yesterday. But she told me about her life, and I learned that when she isn’t working at the school, she is a single mother, trying to learn English and hoping to come to the United States. And as the day wears on, the kids break through her hard shell over and over, getting her to laugh – and in turn she makes them laugh. While waiting in the room for our turn to go out to the lunch area, she broke into song and dance – something about “elefantes” – and the kids’ faces glowed. Now, for those of you who are not members of my family, you wouldn’t appreciate the irony of Josh and Eli standing side by side at the kitchen sink, washing dishes, picking through beans, peeling plantains, and slicing carrots. Personally, I am thoroughly enjoying Tía Olga’s domination over them, as she overlooks every move they make with a fierce eagle eye. It remains to be seen whether this will translate into a long-standing commitment to kitchen work… time will tell.

On the bus ride home, the sound of conversation was punctuated with voices, describing the children that drive them crazy, the children they already love, the ways of the tías, and the missing construction tools. The voices are exhausted, thoughtful, and happy. There is a lot of laughing.

This leads us to the message of the day, coined by the esteemed British philosophers, Monty Python: “Always look on the bright side of life.”

Entry and message submitted by: Darcy

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