It happened to me. Again.
As I type this, I feel warm within, thankful, confused, overwhelmed and yes, more thankful.
It is amazing how much we talk about sensitivity and sensibility and yet the concept seems elusive many a time. Intentional or unintentional is beside the point. I have seen some of the most sensitive people tripping over something obvious. And then I have seen inspiring acts of delicate handling that keeps me awed.
Last week, I was in a school for children with intellectual disability. The topic happening in the classroom was “Family”. So, the teachers had print-outs of mummies and daddies and brothers and sisters and grandparents and uncles and aunts and so on. All these were generic pictures ofcourse. The teacher drew a big circle on the board and each little student had to come to the teacher and collect the cards applicable for him/her (as in, who constituted their family) and put the photos in.
Just as she was about to start the lesson, the teacher realized that this is going to be one big sensitive issue. And when I realized what she meant, I cannot describe the kind of respect I felt for her.
There was this one little chirpy, happy out-of-this-world boy who was not just huggable but also seemed to spread oodles of warmth and cheer around him. This boy has been given up (as in, they don’t wish to raise him) by both his parents and is currently at a home that attends to children whose parents have given up (owing to many reasons but that is not what we will be discussing). The home looks after him and has also assigned a guardian angel whose name is M.
So, she wanted to be very very sensitive about how she went about this lesson. She called the little boy first and asked him to choose his favourite. He picked up a picture of a lady and said that she is M. Very happily he filled his family circle and hopped back to his seat.
Subsequently, other children came forward and did their turn. Everytime someone came froward and added a grandmother or a father, this little boy also took another corresponding picture of a grandmother or father and added it to his own circle. He was so happy and busy adding every relationship in his circle that we were all overcome with a sense of sadness and happiness. Finally, his circle became the biggest of all. It choked us to see him so happy and claiming to have a big big family.
He does have a big family. He has his friends and teachers. More than anything he has this magical spirit within him. One that keeps him perpetually happy. Yet, somewhere, something tugged at my heart. I don’t want to blame anyone for I will never understand what went behind their decisions.
But I love this lad and I just strongly pray and hope that he gets to fill his circle soon. And that smile gets wider; as if that is even going to be possible 🙂
And that’s how I got myself another bum-chum.
Source: Feature image retrieved from http://www.google.com.sg/imgres?num=10&hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1262&bih=839&tbm=isch&tbnid=fKdRzZ7ELNCefM:&imgrefurl=http://santacruzvillage.com/&docid=5meSuLrDlrZZqM&imgurl=http://santacruzvillage.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/stick-fam.jpg&w=1527&h=1063&ei=ZfoAUbDICI-zrAe_74HIAQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=79&sig=103250859162494776960&page=1&tbnh=135&tbnw=192&start=0&ndsp=30&ved=1t:429,r:14,s:0,i:189&tx=90&ty=73