Wednesday, August 5, 2009


All I kept thinking about was how they didn't know anything different. For the most part, they didn't know what it felt like to be held by a mother and father at the same time who are both vying for your attention and telling you they love you. They don't know what it's like to work all week and get a pay check and blow it on a pair of Tory Burch wedges because they are perfect. They have never experienced a mall or shopping or wakeboarding or eating at a nice restaurant or any of the other things we think are regular necessities; Any of the things we think make life fulfilling. They get fulfillment out of making craft from scraps people have brought by, or joking with the other children or learning how to sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" in English. Initially they watched in awe, as though they'd never been served by anyone. Once they felt more comfortable, they were uneasy standing aside and tried to pitch in where they were needed.

Last week I went to the mall because I was bored and I bought a dress because I thought it would change my life and sure enough I had forgotten about it the next day. Then I watch as these children wear clothes someone had dropped off in a box and they weren't given choices of size or color and they hand wash them because that's the only option. They wake up knowing that if the Americans come today they might get a Capri Sun and if it's the blonde one handing them out, they will get two. They laugh as I try to speak their language. They ask for my hat because they have never had one. They sleep on plastic mattresses with dozens of other children. They cry themselves to sleep because they know something is missing but it's not something they've seen so it confuses them. They have never dreamed of anything beyond what they have because they weren't raised to have high expectations.
There is no way for me to believe that I deserve the privileges that I have become accustomed to. There is no way I will ever be able to describe the love that I have for them. There is nothing different about us on the inside. We are all trying to make the best of the situation we were dealt, and after seeing another man's cross, making the best of my load is a lot easier.

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