The last group had a tea party for the little girls. The girls wore a princess skirt and a tiara as they decorated their personal tea cups. They sipped on tea and ate cookies while giggling the entire time. I just happened to walk in while they were having a princess parade. Each little girl walked to the full length mirror and admired herself in the princess clothes. Jenifer walked to the mirror, admired herself, and then curtsy in front of the mirror. Everyone giggled because she was the only little girl to actually curtsy. Jenifer laughed with a huge smile on her face as she returned to her seat. All of the ladies thought she was so cute and sweet during the tea party with such an outgoing personality. I stood with an overwhelming sense of joy because my mind flashed back to years ago. The several years of visiting Jenifer’s family and Jenifer hiding from me because I was a “Gringa”. My mind flashed back to Jenifer entering kindergarten and refusing to basically do anything. The teachers spent days loving her and building trust. However, Jenifer is a very strong-willed child and basically refused to put any effort in school because she did not want to be there.
So when Jenifer did the curtsy in front of five strangers, I was ecstatic. When I watched her sit at the table, giggle, and smile with her friends, my heart was filled with joy. Years of loving her even when she pushed back–finally seeing the fruit of consisted love. Slowly watching the defense walls break and this sweet girl spend her days with laughter, hugs, and smiles.
Last week, one teenage boy brought me a plant for my birthday. Several years ago I would’ve predicted this at risk boy to be on the streets during his teenage years. Does he make mistakes? Yes! Do we give him boundaries? Yes! Do we have consequences for his wrong decisions? Yes! Do we provide him a safe place? Yes! Do we love him unconditionally? Yes! Walls are slowing but surely falling!
Last week, a teenage boy who we are struggling to direct on the right path passed by me and simply said “Hey Mom!” Only two simple words, but what I heard was “My defense wall is beginning to break!”
In the Trenches. Consistency. Compassion with Action. Love. Walls Breaking. Lives Changing.