Close Your Eyes to See

Lydia Crush - Ecuador


February 16, 2012

Balance. Yin and yang, black and white, male and female, day and night, good and bad, sweet and salty, silence and cacophony; they compliment each other and make each other stronger. Because of the existence of one, the other is contrasted and highlighted. If we lived in perpetual winter, we would quickly grow tired of the biting wind and harsh temperatures while forgetting about the innate beauty. But because of summer, we can appreciate each for it’s nature.

But in the trenches of winter, it is really quite difficult to imagine the summer days when all you want to eat is ice-cream and watermelon. Likewise, in the middle of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, the rest of the day can look pretty dreary.

On this particular terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, things did not start out too well. My job is to tutor one student, Jhostyn. Count them: one. Hence, being responsible for the morning activities is a bit irksome. Something happened to my co-worker’s daughter and my co-worker left school, crying, during recess. That left me with 22 four and five year-olds for over two hours without any lesson plans.

Long story short, the kids (my student among them) spent the last 60 minutes of the day running around, hurling pencils, drawing on each other, screaming, fighting and throwing chairs. It was not a good day. I am honestly surprised that I did not start break down crying when the janitor came in and saw me putting the room back to rights. (I don’t usually do the crying thing. Not my forte.)

Because of how he had (mis)behaved during the morning, I kept my expectations low for the afternoon. And was consequently blown out of the water. We started working on speech therapy:

“Mama, dame pan. Mama, dame leche.” Mom, give me bread. Mom, give me milk. It was getting pretty boring for him, so I decided we could play pretend.

“Tengo hambre. Dame pan?” Then he handed me some imaginary bread. We ate imaginary soup, with imaginary rice and juice. The words started to flow. Instead of losing focus and resorting to saying “meme”, he remembered the beginning syllable each time. We wandered around the house, asking for and giving each other different things.

His sister joined in and soon the three of us were sitting in a circle eating a pretend lunch, passing around pretend food, and saying quite definitely not pretend Spanish words.

The point being, things come in pairs. Usually they balance each other out and sometimes what is worse is bigger. But every once in a while the good tips the scale in its favor, and when it does boy, does it ever tip those scales.

Lydia Crush