This week, we went to play with about 60 children at a childcare center. This center provides reduced childcare to families who are unable to pay full price. We (HOPE) visit there regularly to support the staff, connect with the children and to determine if there are any needs within the families that we can help meet.
I walked around the room desperately wanting to talk with these children. Each one was beautiful and so very unique. Unfortunately, none of them spoke English…and my Spanish is still sorely lacking! I could help manage the activities, but how was I going to connect with them??
As I walked around the room, helping where I could, I saw some girls building a lego castle. I sat and quickly drew them a princess for their castle. I could not have predicted what happened next. Paper after paper was pushed in front of me. Little voices started speaking all at once, “para mi hermana! para mi hemanito! para mi mama!”. As I drew and drew, small people laid their heads on my shoulder and taught me the names of colors. We wrote each other’s names, we shared our different ways of saying things. As we packed up to leave, I hugged each of these children goodbye, and told them what I did know how to say in their language, “You are beautiful, you are kind, you are smart”.
They smiled. I melted. And I thanked God for blank sheets of paper and crayons.