I know we’re not supposed to have favourites with children, but let’s be honest… We generally do.
At the orph4nage we’re spending time at, there is one boy who has captured my heart.
Let’s call him Sam.
Sam is twelve months old, and blind.
He can’t stand or kneel or really take any weight on his legs; he just kind of lies there and makes noises to himself, trying to figure out the dark world around him, I guess.
He wasn’t in the room this morning, so I was a bit disappointed, but got to hang out with a couple other little ones instead (as always, thinking warm thoughts about each of them as we played).
Around halfway through the morning, the nurse brought Sam in – I think she had taken him for a walk, or maybe to do errands with her?
When she went to set him on the ground I jumped up and took him, and spent a good hour just sitting with him in my lap, making noises at each other, tickling his feet, and playing some as classical music off one of the boys phones, which Sam bounces to and seems to love.
Shortly after 12 is feeding time, and the nurse came in and took one child at a time, systematically working through the kids to feed them, change them, and put them to bed for a nap.
She had gone through a half dozen, and then on one of her trips pointed at me, Sam, and then to the feeding room. I gestured back, trying to confirm that she wanted me to feed Sam. She nodded, I shook my head (I have never fed a baby apart from yesterday’s disaster, which we needing get into), and then she nodded even more firmly, and turned on her heel, fully expecting me to come with her.
Of course, I had to. Shaking knees and all!
I thought a few more warm thoughts and asked Sam quietly to be kind to me and cut me some slack…
He was a treasure.
He didn’t squirm once, just lay in my arms and let me feed him him pumpkin soup.
I have never thought spoon feeding a small child could be a beautiful thing, but it is. It so is.
In between mouthfuls he would hum along to a song I like to think 4ngels must have been playing to him, and would smile and then take another mouthful.
When we finished (I wasn’t even too far behind the nurse!), I took him to the changing room, expecting to hand him over.
Nurse Funny-Lady wouldn’t have a bar of it and made room on the bench next to her so that I could squeeze in with Sam and change him too.
I shook my head even harder, shaking my finger trying to let her know, “Nope! Nappies are NOT my forté, I’ve never done this and wasn’t planning to for a long time!”.
Of course, she again smirked her smirk, shook her head right back at me and pointed to her eyes, pointed to me, and let me know that she was watching, so I should start any time.
I thought Sam was good at lunch time – he was fantastic at diaper time.
He let me hold his feet, twist and turn him, didn’t even have a mess (Thank the L0RD!!), and just giggled, while I sweat bullets trying not to break him.
Spending the morning with this child who had been left alone in the world was priceless.
I had to take a moment to steel myself while I fed him; I was so overcome with emotions for the little man.
I can’t imagine having to leave your baby for someone else to raise, to admit that you can’t do it and then give that life up.
I’m just lucky I got to know Sam, and I look forward to tickling his toes again tomorrow.