"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way." -Juan Ramon Jiminez

Sunday, January 09, 2005

A Boy Called Bagpipes

So today I went to the Duck Pond to help disabled kids (Read: to earn nhs hours). In summary it was a good time, and i will remember it for a long time. That's not saying much; unfortunately i remember everything; it is my gift, it is my curse. At first I wondered about why it was important that i do anything at all; I thought this kid probably won't even remember my name in a week. And i still believe that, since i only mentioned it once, when i first met him. It was weird for me at first, i didn't know exactly what i was supposed to do. It was awkward, since i had the pre-conceived notion that i would at least be able to have a conversation with him. But i realized that this was not only a nine year old, but a mentally disabled one at that. i don't remember exactly when i first was able to connect with the kid, but it was probably when he started playing with that toy drum. He was immediately so intimate, holding my hand and dragging me from room to room. I had had no experience with the mentally disabled beforehand, and I was nervous before I went today. Maybe i got it easy because it was my first time volunteering so they gave me a cute kid on purpose. i don't know, i can't say what any of it means. i met an amazing kid today, in a room filled with them. i don't know if he remembers me now, but i won't ever forget how good it felt to make him laugh. i didn't time anything, but i swear that the walk back to the parking lot, the walk away, was hours longer than the walk there.