There was a stage in my life when I was convinced that I hate little kids. Unlike every other girlfriend I know, I hate emails that included babies and little kids smiling that are usually sent to cheer the receiver. Never in my life have I been sweet with other people’s kids. I avoided physical contact with them & often considered them as aliens. I know what you’re thinking, how do I manage at school? My students are 11 to 12 year old, closer to being teenagers than just kids.
This year, more specifically in summer, I lived a 40 days new experience that changed this attitude in me. I was held supervisor in Rawda Summer Camp for kids between 3 & 5 years old. I can say I was more tolerant than ever before in my life especially when they cried or insistently nagged. But the real metamorphosis was that I fell in love with a boy & a girl.
Jawad, a 4 year old naughty mischievous boy who hit everyone whether for a reason or not & then say : It wasn’t me! A super intelligent kid that knows how to make others suffer without any effort from his side really. Every Friday, we went on a trip & it happens that we took the same bus with the same chauffeur who played the same cassette on the way back and forth. After the third trip Jawad started singing along with Najwa Karam & you’d think he participated in a revolution before when he screams his lungs out “bl rou7! bl dam!” Once at Mc Donald’s, he took his sandals off to play. When we wanted to leave, he was struggling with one of the pairs. Why? It turned out that he was wearing two right shoe pairs which meant that another kid wore two left. Everyone was searching for the kid with the two left pairs, and until we found him, he walked like a penguin with the two right pairs… When he did something wrong and he realized that he pushed the limits, he’d stand still with puppy eyes and innocently says : I won’t do it again, I promise. Of course he’d do it again when I’m not paying attention 🙂 Instead of greeting him “good morning”, I say “Jawad!!!!! Jeyeh efezrak!!!” his reaction would be to open his eyes and mouth not believing what he heard :O then he’d smile wickedly. I met his parents, they’re very nice people and we had a few laughs about Jawad’s behaviour.
Zeina a 4 year old very cute little girl has a different story. She didn’t join the camp from the very first day but 2 weeks later. Her parents knew she was too young to join so they decided to give it a try because a few months later she’ll be joining a nursery class. We decided to put her with her relatives even if they were 2 years older, to familiarize the environment for her. Everyday in the morning, the minute she steps out of the bus, she’d run to me crying “Betti mamaaaaaaaaa” ( I want my mama) and I try to distract her once by showing her photo albums, and another time by jumping up and down or racing her to the class to join ” Majd w mamoud” (Majd & Mahmoud her cousins). Whenever I passed by her class, she’d leave everything she’s doing and clings to me “mamaaaaaaa”. It turned out that “mama” is every person who wears the hijab because her mum does. She was the summer camp doll and she’d get everyone’s attention because she’s super cute, funny and smart. We all spoke her language “Santa Dora” (shanta dora) “bilbas” (she was to go home by bus) but the sweetest thing she says and I made sure she says it everyday to me is “Ayyavyou” (I love you)
I love you Jawad and Zeina! I wish you all the best there is & I hope that one day, if I have any kids, they’d be just like you. May Allah protect you from every evil & make your parents forever proud of you.