• November 17, 2017

Argentina: Love is in the small things

by Grace R, on mis­sion in Argentina

Modern cul­ture, espe­cially in a poor neigh­bor­hood like where we live, does not value child­hood inno­cence or take much care to pro­tect it. Childhood, instead of being cher­ished, is often treated as exas­per­ating, use­less, and some­thing that should be short­ened as much as pos­sible. I believe this poverty comes greatly from igno­rance, yet all the same it breaks my heart because I think child­hood is one of the most pre­cious trea­sures life holds, and some­thing everyone deserves.

V. is someone who shares this belief with me. She had a trau­matic child­hood with par­ents who suf­fered from sub­stance abuse, and when raising her own chil­dren was often too wor­ried about making sure they had enough food to eat to find ways for them to enjoy being kids. However, now that she is a grand­mother to four little girls and a baby boy, she finally has the chance to cherish this beau­tiful time with them. She can often be seen in the neigh­bor­hood with a grandkid holding her hand, or she brings them to our house in the after­noon to pray the rosary and play. The other kids in our neigh­bor­hood also have a great love and respect for her and many call her “aunt.”

Winter vaca­tion recently ended, and on the last day V wanted to do some­thing spe­cial for the kids. She lent us her tele­vi­sion (as we don’t own one) and helped us invite the kids to come watch a movie in our house. The kids arrived early and were playing ram­bunc­tiously when V arrived, but as soon as she entered the house they all (around 20) sat qui­etly and paid atten­tion to the entire movie. It was a simple idea to orga­nize this after­noon “home cinema”, on a rainy last after­noon of winter vaca­tion, but that’s what I love about V, she doesn’t get caught up in grand schemes or think she knows how to fix all the prob­lems of child­hood, rather she looks for little ways to cel­e­brate the sim­plicity and the beauty of it.

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