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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Tissue Paper

T speaks very little English. His understanding of the language is better then his speaking abilities. One day, I greeted T with a "nihow".  He was thrilled.  It did not take him long to discover that my speaking ability in Chinese is very limited- to put it generously - and my verbal comprehension is no better. He forgave me though for my poor linguistic skills with a generous smile. I had a friend in kindergarten class.

Every lunch hour, when I walk into the room T rushes up to me and greets me with a "nihow". Today T found himself in a situation with a girl at the water table. They had a dispute over a toy and T  grabbed her arm causing the girl to cry. I explained to T using English and a lot of hand gestures that he should not grab other children's arms. T hugged me and started crying. His embrace was so trusting I felt my heart melt. I hugged him back. By now, his tears were flowing openly. He pulled my forearm up, pushed back my shirt sleeve and used the skin on my arm to dry his tears. I had never before been used as a tissue paper.

There was something so unaffected in T's gesture. To be trusted so completely for even the length of a moment by another human is to experience beauty; fragile and precious.