I Listened to the Child in Me


I first wrote this on June 9, 2009 on my facebook notes.

It was a different kind of day.

Today is Tuesday.

There is something different today. When I looked at my clock, I'm not supposed to be up and awake yet. But there's just something different today.

Then there was a knock on my door. It's my roommate.

That's one different thing about today. She never knocks on my door to wake me up. First time.

I tried going back to bed but my friend, "sleep" bid me goodbye before I even said, Hi! I still have 30 minutes to sleep if I could.

I waited, waited, and waited for my morning rooster.

There's just something different today.

I finally got up, do my usual thing in the morning, except I had a piece of cake from "Despidida" party of a friend. I don't eat breakfast at home, but at a small breakfast restaurant near the school.

There's just something different today. I have a weird feeling of this today.

I took the bus and then the subway, my two usual transits in my mundane life. I then headed to my breakfast stop. I was surprised to see our school bus driver there. I never knew he eats breakfast there as well. I mean, he picks up the kids from their homes and wait for them to come pick me up at the crossroad where we agreed to meet up everyday.

That's the second different thing about today. Our school bus driver dining at my breakfast stop and he even paid for my food!

Today is Tuesday. The moment I woke up, I knew there's just going to be different on this day. Perhaps, this is the day...

His name is Leo (from Le-Le). I gave him that name. He has two beautiful eyes, two very distinct eyebrows, and has the sweetest smile.

When I first met him, he completely ignored me. He doesn't want to talk and doesn't even want to tell me his name.

Our relationship took a very long process compared with others. I did understand his coldness towards me. I did understand him for ignoring me, most of the time. I did understand him for being lime that. After all, I'm not only a stranger but we also do not share the same language, which is very bizarre to him.

Day after day, he watched me with confused eyes. I looked back to him with my sweet smile. When I tried convincing him to join us in our games, he'd simply turn his back from me. I encouraged him to listen to my stories but he pretended he didn't hear me. I don't know if he was scared or he really doesn't like me. You can't please everybody, they said. I can't simply please him-- at those times.

We went on being like this for months and months. I know and I believe in my heart that he will come to me-- at his own will, at his own phase, and at his own time. And everyday, I'm hoping it could be the day for it.

I came inside the school campus, 30 minutes before my time. I love this community. I love the people I see around me. If there's one place I love-- it has to be a Kindergarten school. I love the small aisles, the wall paintings, the noisy playground, the cute chairs and tables, the colorful toys, the smell of the books, and most of all, the adorable children that brighten up your day! (The list could go on and on.) And I can't wait for the time, where I could have my very own one day. (I know it'll take time but I'm grateful that the universe is conspiring with me for making this into a reality.) 

When I reached my usual spot, I prepared all the materials needed on this day. I was going to teach them the people who live in their house and the names of the places inside a house. As I got what I needed, I headed to where Leo and his classmates were waiting for me. Most of them will be excited to see me, but not Leo. Most of them will say, "Good morning, Dinah!" but not Leo. Most of them will come and hug me, but not Leo. I know he would be on his chair which is right beside the computer table and which is on the end to my right when I start the class. He never sits anywhere but there-- that's his own little corner.  

I'm walking slower as I used to. I forgot to stop by in the baby class, where I have a favorite boy that I never failed to kiss good morning. He's my chubby little baby. But today, I forgot about him. It's the third of today.

Then, I stand in front of the door. I heard them say my name. They were once again enthusiastic to see me. When I got in, they run and try to grab my legs for a hug. But there's one familiar face that caught my attention who is standing right in front of me-- waiting for his own turn. Then minutes later, he held my legs with his tiny little hands. I saw his face lit up. It was priceless! My instinct was to reach him so I knelt down in front of him, as if we were of the same height. He smiled when I said, "Good morning, Leo!" I waited for his response but it was not a "Good morning, Dinah" that I expect to hear. Instead, he held on to my neck as his way of hugging me, and whispered to my ears, the four sweetest words I have ever heard from this almost-three-years-old boy...

"Wo ai ni, Dinah"

I was speechless! I hugged him even tighter than I should. It was the longest five seconds of my life! I don't know what transformed him of doing this today. He simply melted my heart. Indeed, this is the day I have been waiting for.

This is the very thing that made this day different and way unexpected. This was Leo's own will, own phase, and own time. I couldn't wish for anything more to happen on this day but this.

I know this is the start of the wonderful things we will share together. I am looking forward for all the exciting new things he can do in class.

This is the best thing about children that we tend to forget as adults. We hurry too much about time, searching for the things we don't have, and failed to acknowledge the things we already have. We tend to run fast and forget to look back. We try to change things when we know deep down to ourselves that what is essential is invisible to the eyes. And real happiness can be found on the simplest things that life brings.

Each of us has a child within and we were too busy to even bother to listen. This child in us, if only being listened to, will appreciate and value the simple things in life.

Today is Tuesday.

Today is when I felt things are going to be different.

Today is when Leo made me listen to the child in me.

Have you listened to your 'inner child' lately?