Tonight, my roommate, Caroline, and I went to Barnes and Noble. I found myself drawn to the children section… in Spanish. Somewhat inevitable I guess. I loved reading with the kids and they loved to crawl up and be read to. I picked up Manos no son para pegar. Manos son de muchas colores, formas y tamanos. Puedes mover tuyas? Los manos no son para pegar… Para que son? Los manos son para saludar, dibujar, jugar… I know most of it by memory now. But when I got to the part about hands being for hugging, Irene wasn’t there to almost choke me and Pilar and Chloe to follow suit demonstrating.
And then of course I had to find the books that I read with Ruben every night when I walked him up above. I was slightly disappointed that I could only find them in English, but like the others, I still know the words even without them. Azul el sombrero, verde el sombrero, rojo el sombrero, then with a huge smile and big bright eyes, he would look at me and shout out AY CARAMBA!
My days are filled with memories that are slowly bringing smiles to my face. Things that I once used to almost complain about—the countless loads of laundry, putting the kids in time out, changing the kids after all the accidents—I now wish I could do more. And all the other things too—I can’t quite explain it but to say that they remain sweet memories and bring smiles to my heart. Like Pilar’s ‘help’ folding clothes, Ne Ne sitting on my lap with her hand over her mouth, dancing with Josue and teaching Ruben his letters in sign language. I miss it all. I miss playing baseball with Marisol, a kiss on Chloe’s forehead to melt her attitude away, “muchos besitos” with Omar every night, and Marcos reading with me. I could go on and on… like the boys up above—“the welcome crew”— reading with Teddy, taking pictures with Tonio and Alex, playing monkey in the middle with Sergio, or just talking with Jose.
I miss being able to love them like I did. So tangibly. I think I love them more now than before, but don’t really know what to do, but to pray for them–for their needs, for their hearts and most importantly, for them to know Jesus Christ. Please pray for them… that they might know our Father’s enormous love and mercy and grace.