When I was little, bandaids were my favorite. They magically healed every boo-boo and they even had my favorite cartoons on them. Bandaids had a way of making everything feel better in the moment.
She placed the cartoon bandaid on her sister’s heart. It seemed like everyone had a heart wound that day. Each time another bandaid placed on another heart. A couple bandaids placed on foreheads and arms but it was the heart that took the win for the most wounds that day.
We sat in a circle after needing to leave class a little early. The girls, myself, Ada (director), and Ana (caretaker) in the middle of the floor in the midst of a tough day. Not sure why it was so obvious that it was tough but that day got to each of us. We each had to step back and remember that each of us are humans and each of us have hurts. So there we were in the circle with the girls (primarily the ones that are in intake which means that they have recently arrived to the house). One by one the girls talked about their specific hurt that day and where they needed the bandaid to be placed. Like I said, lots of heart wounds so plenty of heart bandaids.
That circle helped me to step back and sit with the girls and be reminded that each girl has a story, has a past, and has received her rescue. Each difficult moment, I want to be reminded that it is ok and we can get through it because she has received her rescue and she is worth it. To see each girl as an individual with her own individual hurt and her own way of expressing it each day is essential in this work. Each student, a separate case to be taken in its own form.
For me, it has been a learning curve as I have become aware of mannerisms that make a specific girl grin and another one cry, a certain word that could affect one girl in one way and another in a different. It’s all about getting to know them on a deeper level to even start to reach them academically. I found that I had to gain each girls’ trust before I could teach them a single thing. This was a process. Day in day out. Lots of Peppa Pig episodes, walks to the park, snuggles on the couch, jumps on the trampoline, singing Soy Luna songs together, climbing up the guayaba trees. This was and still is a process of gaining trust. To me, gaining one’s trust is the highest compliment. It allows you to enter into relationship with that person and share life with them. Life is the sweetest gift and something to be shared.
Learning to gain each one’s trust is the toughest but most beautiful ride. It is still a process and probably will be but showing up each day is the first step and I have to remind myself that. It is a process. Life is a process.
I even got a voice message from my good friend and New Hope Director, Ada tonight teaching me that everything is a process. Even not having water at my house for two weeks is a process. Nothing can be solved all at once in one moment, those that want a careful job to be done and done right, take the time and go through each step in the process. I was frustrated about the water, but I truly believe it is trying to teach me something. Have patience and they will open up, have patience and they will start to read, have patience and they will learn their numbers, have patience and they will trust you, and even… have patience and your water will come back on.