For the past two days I have found myself carefully looking at the kids at work but it’s not because I’m trying to see if they are doing something they shouldn’t be doing. It’s been more like an abstract observation. Like, I see them and I’m reminded at just how young they really are. Today, for example, I was minding the younger kids and I watched as they dug in the ground to examine the roots of plants, another set were blowing dandelions to the wind and trying to chase them to catch one and make a wish, while another pair were chasing butterflies.
For a moment I tried to keep myself from crying.
It’s not that I found they were sad cases because of their histories and pasts, but because they actually seemed like kids to me. It surprised me how touching it was. This wasn’t the first time it happened either. Yesterday I was working with the kids that are more early teens and I found myself looking into each of their faces, trying to see if I could visualize the men they would become. I don’t know why I did it, but I was doing it systematically. What surprised me with them was that when I watched them this intentionally, I could see them for the young adolescents they are. Their mannerisms were still child-like and their faces so young under the beginnings of peach fuzz facial hair. So many are physically big for their age, but they are no where near being mature adults.
This, too, made me sad.
Though I’m not entirely sure why.