K’s Progress: 9 January 2012

K learns numbers on the steps

This is TOO TOO funny!  When the girls came in 2007, I tried many ways to introduce math concepts.  One was to number the steps so they could easily understand one more and one less.  The girls and the teachers thought I was nuts, and no one would use it for understanding numbers.  But apparently it did leave an impression.

Last evening one of the girls asked, “Mummy, remember the numbers you put on the steps?  Could we do that for K?”  And so they did, and taught her the numbers, and up and down.  They love teaching her.  They have infinite patience and never scold her.  They delight in every achievement.  They also delight in seeing her with me.  There has always been some tension around Ganga’s attachment to me, and mine to her.  So somehow seeing K with me, knowing how hard I worked to get her and her contentment on my lap is really important for all of them.  I guess also she is allowed to attach to me the ways they are all hesitant.  Each morning they make sure she says hello, good morning Mummy, and before bed she is brought to tell me good night.    They want her to be what they have had trouble being, and to learn what they have had trouble learning.  It is beautiful to be in this process, to see how they will be as mothers, different from how that would have been without Shishur Sevay.

Ganga is accepting her role as big sister who has to share Mummy more.  Her difficulties with K are the moments when she realizes K’s ability to walk, eat on her own, say her name, hold the pencil…. Ganga gets sad,  but she will be fine too.  A new child is a new adjustment for everyone, including me.

I continue to work with Aunty to get the children transferred out of her home and into more appropriate places.  And I ponder a lot, who will care for the children, particularly the orphans who can’t even walk or talk or feed themselves, or reach out for human contact?  A long succession of people contributed to these children being as they are.  First is the woman who gave birth, then whoever decided to give up the child, then the people who had the children for years who didn’t feed them or rehabilitate them. The adoption agency that could not “place” them.  Then there is the government that had to be involved along the way, assigning the children to one facility or another, licensing the places these children have been.  How do you get a five-year old who is 7kg?  It’s called starvation.  It isn’t an accident, but rather a series of policies and individual decisions along the way that this human being was not worth feeding.  

I googled the quote about a society being judged by its care of the weakest….  and it doesn’t really trace back to one source, but rather a general statement of the “should” of caring for the weakest, lest the nation or society be judged badly.  I wondered why it was an issue of judgement, rather than of moral imperative, so I googled moral imperative.  I seem to have been gifted with a good dose of moral imperative that drives me.  But then I thought about society where there is NO moral imperative.  So then I moved to “Rights” as how we have to address these issues because then it doesn’t matter whether people care or not, they have to enforce rights….. Well, that is my thinking journey this afternoon.  Aunty came by and I typed and printed the letters she needed to try to get the government to relieve her of the violent boys she cannot manage.  

It’s REALLY a mess here!  I think I’ll go count steps with K.

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