Wow highlight #5.5: Children being children at the batey

Jul 8, 2011

Children can overcome obstacles that are sometimes harder for adults to overcome.  True story.  There seem to be few social gaps (like the sometimes awkward getting to know you phase) for them.

Oh how they just seem to jump right in with other kids.  No judgements passed or feelings of self-doubt.  No social boundaries that prevent their thinking to keep them from acting.

Sure, they have their moments, and have a way of sorting out a mode of operation with one another, but still.  Some things really are universal.  Little boys don't need to speak the same language to understand and enjoy one another.

I don't know if I'm making any sense here, but I do know that when I stepped foot onto a Haitian batey outside of San Cristobal last month, that I felt socially awkward, held back by something (fear? anxiety? being overwhelmed by circumstances very foreign to me?)  Where I felt inwardly paralyzed, the children around me thrived.  For real.

Not just children who have grown accustomed to visiting this particular batey (such as the very awesomely acclimated and socially confident Gray kids!), but my own children who had no idea what to expect.  Across the board - they thrived.  (throve? thrived? throve? hmmmmm . . .  I'm gonna pick one and go with it I guess because I'm too lazy right now to figure out which is correct.)

I was somewhat puzzled when Tate said that he did not want to go back to the batey, because as you can see from the pictures, he clearly had a great time.  Upon further investigation and conversation, I realized that it was the 3-4 inches of mud caked on his shoes that had really bothered him about that afternoon.  It would have been okay if he had said that he had been uncomfortable, because I know that that is how I felt.  And he was in fact, uncomfortable, but not so much socially as physically the difficult circumstances (like mud and dirt) that are very much a part of the batey.

I will never forget this day.  How I felt.  How my children ran and played and frolicked.  How the children on the batey embraced all of us.  How I want to not walk in a spirit of fear or anxiety or worry.  How I want to thrive like a child.

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