Thursday, January 05, 2006

my favorite kids!

I find people who go on about the innocent wonder of children really annoying as a rule (weren’t they ever kids? Or didn’t they at least see Me and You and Everyone We Know?). But, I’ve got to admit, today I found the innocent wonder of children pretty fucking healing.

The organization I work for sponsored a writing workshop at a school five minutes from my apartment, and maybe five minutes more ghetto. I parked across the street from the big, tan, fenced-in building, next to a row of trash cans and a broken TV with gang-style graffiti scrawled on it. But when I got close, I realized that the graffiti said, “Ariel is my favorite niece!”

I decided the day was looking up.

At the workshop, Luis wrote a funny piece about farting to make flies go away. Oscar let me help him put together a puzzle of Dalmatians in a bathtub. Shantevya and Sophia shot their hands up in the air and made that breathless pick-me-pick-me face that disappears from kids’ catalogue of expressions around age 13. Breana showed me her sticker collection, and I felt really honored to be the kind of person someone wants to show her sticker collection to.

After being afraid of my community, and then feeling shitty for being afraid, it was nice to feel like a part of it. The really, really good part.

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