It’s a 30 person bus and there’s roughly 43 of us in it. But when half the people are under the age of 12 and pint sized, we don’t ALL need our very own seat, right? It’s the team’s last day and we’re coming back from spending the afternoon at the beach with 25 of the boys from Proniño. Even after hours of swimming, running and burying people in the sand the energy in the bus is through the roof as some of the older boys lead us in a cheer that literally lasts about 40 minutes. My head is starting to pound, but I’m loving every minute of it. I hear my name from the back of the bus but it’s so dark I can only see the people directly behind me. I see Richar, pretending to be asleep on Anita’s shoulder.
As I sit there in the dark, I think about the parts of the day I got to spend with Richar. Like when he tried to convince me to go to this sketchy area of the beach to see a dead bird. (Yeah, no thanks.) So, instead we took a long walk with some other kids to this awesome, old and severely fire damaged dock.
Everything was perfect about this day. The weather. The breeze. The company. The 5 voices excitedly chattering over one another to be heard. And I’m struck by how different this scene is from the one in which I first met Richar as he was being carried upstairs kicking and screaming in the government home. Hanging out with him on the beach is such a simple thing that I’ve wanted for so long, but somehow didn’t think would ever be able to happen. This day of doing normal kid things with him gives me so much hope that maybe, just maybe, one day he’ll be able to have a semi-normal life.
I’ve known Richar for nearly two years now. It’s a mere fraction of our lives, but it feels like so long. I was amazed when I compared these two pictures by how much he’s grown. I love that I see him often enough that I didn’t even notice it happening.
I fear that this is a slightly aimless post today. I actually have a lot more written in my journal that I was planning on copying into the blog. Updates on his anger issues (he still has them), school (he’s in junior high this year, which is a BIG deal!) and how I’m still constantly afraid he’ll run away (and he actually did a few weeks ago, but was found and returned within a few days). But now that I’m actually writing, I seem to want to keep this simple. Mainly, I’m so thankful for this child. He’s the reason I’m doing anything at all in Honduras. I’m thankful I met him. I’m thankful that meeting him has given me such a purpose and passion. I’m thankful for all the moments I’ve shared with him. And I’m so thankful I’ll have so many more.