The next 100 days will be an attempt to blog about a connection I had each day. This is my first day:
As I walked around the outside of the dry pond park, movement in the field below grabbed my attention. A smile crept across my face as I saw a small child in a bright yellow t-shirt, alternately skipping and trotting along to keep up with the slender man and the other youngster with him.
The smile on my face broadened as I noticed the braided ponytail bobbing along at the back of the child’s head. “Oh my gosh, she’s so cute!” I said out loud.
I involuntarily slowed my pace to enjoy her a little longer, and as I did so, I heard the child’s boisterous, sing-songy voice in what sounded like a non-stop stream of sound without any recognizable words. Even though I had no idea what she was saying, there was no mistaking the enthusiasm in that voice!
I felt compelled to stop walking. I unabashedly watched and listened, my heart opening as I absorbed the pure joy and exuberance the child was emitting.
I noticed many things and had many thoughts within a few seconds. “I love that man’s bright green T-shirt! It’s as joyful as the little one’s yellow shirt. He has to be the father. Is that child in the navy shirt a girl or a boy? Can’t tell from the body. Wait! He has a bun on top of his head; gotta be the older brother. In that case, the little one might be a boy, not a girl. Interesting, big borther’s wearing his hair up as Sikhs do, but his dad’s not wearing a turban. Is the little one really saying something or just jibbering the way young ones do until they learn to talk? Oh, they’re headed my way! Did they notice I was watching them? I hope they’re not bothered by that. I’ve got a huge smile on my face, so I’m sure I seem friendly and not a threat.”
As the little one ran up the hill toward me, I noticed the t-shirt said, “the little brother”, offering confirmation that the ponytail didn’t indicate the child was a girl. I waved at him, and he smiled joyfully and waved back. As he came closer, I squatted down to be at his level. He was totally open and trusting.
He walked right up to where I squatted, looked me square in the eyes, and directed his mile-a-minute, unintelligible chatter at me. He had a beautiful, open face, and the darkest eyes I’ve ever seen. Such a deep, deep brown I couldn’t see any pupils!
He continued chatting away until the other two caught up to him. I looked up at his dad and exclaimed, “He’s so adorable!” Dad simply smiled.
I looked at the little boy again and asked, not knowing if he would understand, “What’s your name?”
He paused, and the older brother spoke to the little one in what I presumed to be Punjabi.
Another stream of unrecognizable chatter came forth, but it didn’t matter. I was really enjoying looking into those dark eyes and feeling his enthusiastic energy.
“Wow, I have no idea what you’re saying, but you are adorable,” I told him with a huge smile on my face. I looked up at his older brother, “Do you understand what he’s saying?”
“Yes. He only knows a few words in English,” the brother explained. “His name is Gurlu.”
“Gurlu?” I asked, making sure I had the pronunciation correct. The brother nodded, and I turned back to the little boy. “Hello, Gurlu. I am Tina.”
Yet another stream of chatter. Dad offered explanation, “His cousin is staying with us, and Gurlu was calling out to her to come and play in the park with us.”
“Ah. That’s great!” I turned to the older brother, still squatting at the little one’s height. “And what’s your name?”
“Sahib?” I asked. He nodded. “How old are you?”
“That means you’re in what grade?”
“How do you like being in grade 4? Do you like your teacher?”
He nodded and added, “Yes, I like my teacher.”
“That’s good,” I replied.
I stood, not wanting to hold them up any longer from meeting up with their cousin. I offered, “Have a good night,” and turned to continue around the park.
I walked away with a big smile on my face… and a huge smile in my heart, grateful for a wonderful connection.