Here a few short stories for your reading pleasure, centered around experiences with children.
All names used in these vignettes are not the children’s real names.
Ricsi is an adorable, 9-year, inquisitive, sweet boy who I visit for an hour every Monday. He doesn’t communicate through words, but he will repeat words he hears sometimes. A few months ago, I fell backwards trying to stand up when he knocked off my feet when we came back from the kitchen. After he saw my back touch the floor, he insisted on me laying on the ground the rest of my hour visit. I tried multiple times to sit up, and he would take my hand and pull me back down. Most of the time, he would lay next to me and keep me company. He would stare into my eyes, rub my back, snuggle up as close as he could, or just rest his arm around me- just to make sure I wasn’t going anywhere. He did a lot of humming, so I joined in once and started humming “Amazing Grace”. He immediately stopped and listened intently, creating such a peaceful moment as he focused on my humming while rubbing my back lightly, with his little arm draped around me. I would whisper, “Jó éjt, szép álmokat” (“Goodnight, sweet dreams”), and he would repeat it back to me as best as he could.
Marietta is a fun-loving, energetic, wide-smiled, 16-year-old I get to see every Tuesday afternoon when I join Sámuel for the religious lesson at the Castle. Almost every week for the last few months, I’ve entered the gate to see her on the swings about 30 yards from me. As soon she sees me, she jumps off the swings and yells “Syyyyyydnnneeeeeyyyy!” as she run towards me for a hug. This week, she was wearing (very!) glittery eyeshadow that I told her was pretty. Before I left, you better believe I got “glitterified”! I left the grounds feeling like a fairy with my glittery, gold eyelids.
One week I went to see Ricsi and he wasn’t there, so I hung out with another kiddo, Mark. Mark also doesn’t communicate through words but will repeat some words he hears. He surprises me sometimes when he randomly says English words with a perfect American accent because of the games he plays on the computer! Mark was usually on the computer when I was at the house, so I didn’t interact with him besides saying “hi” when I came in. So I figured what’s a better way to bond with him than over his favorite thing- the computer. I pulled up a chair next to him and watched as he played a game similar to Angry Birds. At one point, I said “Együtt?” (“Together?”) and placed my hand on the mouse with his. He didn’t seem to mind, so I clicked the mouse when I would have let go of the “bomb”. He clicked at a different time, making the bombs go at rapid fire, which made both of us giggle. I eventually moved my hand away after a few rounds and he signaled he didn’t want to play together, which was fine. I just said, “boom, boom, boom” when he fired more than one at a time, and he laughed to himself every time- eventually looking at me before he would do it to “prep” (me or him, I don’t know). He eventually got to a level where if he’d double click on a specific bomb it went faster and a noise that sounded like “talkie talkie” in a high-pitched voice would sound. I tickled his side and repeated the phrase when I first heard it. I only did it in that situation for consistency for him and to give him control when it would happen, if he enjoyed it. Eventually, I could tell he couldn’t care less if he completed a level. He just wanted to be tickled! He would laugh as soon as the “tickle bombs” would come up on the screen and would twist to the side, preparing himself. He belly laughed for 40 minutes, I swear! It also touched my heart when he showed his comfort to me by climbing in my lap multiple times just to lean on me. What a great hour that was!