He’s one of my favorite boys. He’s 16ish, stubborn, and kind of ornery and sly. He loves to borrow my mp3 player and camera and Arabic/English dictionary. Loves sports and is really good at them. When the ping pong table that was donated a year ago was still functioning he played constantly and was the hailed champion of the center. (Though I did beat him one time…out of probably 40 games…) And he does not like any of the arts/crafts stuff. But he’s bright and likes English. Is brilliant at wandering off and disappearing from programs he doesn’t want to participate in…which is generally all of them. For whatever reason this boy just pulls at my heartstrings. During my programs he usually sits around on and off (he doesn’t stay in one place well) and likes to talk. And laugh at my Arabic. Then help me correct it. He routinely surprises me with his astuteness.
Somehow the other day I got some wire in his hands and motivation in his heart and got him to make a little beaded gecko. For every row and every step of the way he would ask me to make sure he was doing the right thing. Twice he tried to quit because he said (literally the meaning in Arabic) he was making me to suffer by asking so many questions. To which I responded that was the reason I was there and picked up the gecko and put it back in his hands. He seemed pleased enough with that answer and finished the gecko. It was a little sad looking. But I was delighted.
Following that when we did a drawing activity a few days later he sat down with a pencil and paper and actually drew something. (A first.) And it was actually a really nice picture! Not what the rest of us were working on, but a lovely little portrait nonetheless. I was like “Where have you been this last year!?”
Another delightful part of this week involved the playing of Chubby Bunny. You know the game–stuff as many marshmallows into friends mouths as possible until they can’t say “chubby bunny” anymore, or choke.
The roomie and I found (which is not always a given) and splurged on some marshmallows a the store. We asked the boys who, of them, had the biggest mouths. They quite enjoyed nominating each other and the ones they picked, I would have picked as well. 🙂 then Jo, so graciously, nominated me to play too.
It was a blast. It is hard to judge sometimes what will work with the boys and what won’t. But this could not have been a greater success. They were cracking up. As was I. I had a mouth full of marshmallows and tears streaming down my face from laughing. It was brilliant. I came in second place with 8 marshmallows and the boy who won, won with 11. Which…I was unsurprised about. This boy has a big pie hole. And knows how to use it.
|Me trying to keep the marshmallows in my mouth.|
|Most of the competition. Winner in the middle.|
Afterwards we doled out the remaining marshmallows to all the boys and teachers. At first they didn’t think they were food. Then we convinced them it was candy and they tried them…and promptly emptied the rest of the bag. Anything super sugary and sweet you can pretty much bet anyone here will be a fan of.
Life has not been all cupcakes and sunshine lately, but I’m happy for the sweetness thats always there along the way.