Today is World Disability Day which I discovered when I went to visit my dear little friends at Astha. They were celebrating with special art projects, including this “Tree of Togetherness”. One of the red dots is my thumbprint and of course, the leaves are all the little hands at Astha:It always happens that there’s one child who manages to especially capture your heart. In Beijing, it was little Larry – so named by me because the poor thing looked like Larry King. That child was a fighter: weak and underdeveloped, he managed to thrive and slowly grow stronger. Yet, at a year-and-a-half he still couldn’t eat solid food or hold a bottle or sit up. Anyway, I may tear if I continue to write about him so on to Yogesh, my new, bigger friend. He has an infectious smile and sweet manner. He’s very shy and I have to sit close to him to get him to communicate. Today, he asked me my name, which touched me.
I’ve had one of those 24 hours that has left me exhausted and sapped. For the first time, I can admit that moving three kids to India is not proving as easy as I have forced myself to pretend. Everyone seems to be crashing in some form – George with his extraordinary defiance; Lala with her desperate pining for old friends, which I think represents a need for shared support in what she’s finding a strange and chaotic place; and eddie with uncharacteristic tantrums. My own patience is frayed and I think that we’re all in need of familiar comforts. Had we been able to foresee this, it would have been smart to plan a Christmas vacation at home. But alas, this is when the world becomes a large place – flying to the states isn’t feasible to throw together at the last minute – and so this year becomes our 7th Christmas away. My new challenge: to find a Christmas tree of some sort (most likely fig…) and to create our own tree of togetherness this season.