yesterday while the girls were playing, aya made me some "tea". we have play dishes for the girls and aya loves them. and she was so cute when she was making it and serving it. she was like a little person. she carried everything over on a tray, stacked carefully and then laid it all out, one thing at a time, just like the women do here. then she served me tea, put some food on my little plate, served herself and told me to eat. it was just like a grownup.
it made me think about what these girls will be like in five or ten years. aya, asma, razan, and hiba come from families who love them a lot and treat them basically like a normal kid. i'm sure that when aya lives at home, she'll learn how to really make tea and serving it to guests might be one of her jobs. and she'll be good at it. asma loves to clean and i bet when she's older, her mom will help her learn how to clean the house and asma will be able to help out. razan will do anything to please adults. i can see her doing laundry or the dishes...probably not very well, because she gets distracted, but i think her family is the kind of family who will let her try to help. hiba is teated like any other of the girls when she goes home. she loves doing dishes and helping in the kitchen. it's fun to think they they will all be adults one day and i think they will have the chance to contribute to their family. it's fun to see how they play now and think of how that will help them in the future.
i don't know about sheda and baraa. baraa is pretty physically disabled, so she can't walk or even stand still without someone right next to her or she'll fall down. her parents love her, but they're really overwhelmed. sheda is just crazy and i don't if she'll ever calm down. her three sisters are almost as crazy and her parents are completely overwhelmed and don't know what to do with them. it makes me think of the importance of teaching them little things that will lead to a little independence, like how to really wash their hands, how to shower themselves, how to get dressed and put their clothes away. i don't know how much sheda and baraa will ever be able to contribute to their families (especially in the eyes of this culture), but at least i can help them to not be as much of a burden.
sometimes i feel like we the kids haven't changed that much over the year. but then i think of how they really were. sheda was crazier, wouldn't sit still, peed in her pants almost every day, spit inside, wouldn't share toys. now she sits through most meals, goes to the bathroom really well, and this morning she was actually playing with aya. happily. hiba didn't talk, she didn't play with the girls a lot, she didn't do much of anything. now she's at least trying to talk all the time, she makes all the beds every morning, she prays at night, she loves to help us take care of baraa. aya was like a turtle in a shell when she got here. she still doesn't talk to the house-parents a lot, but she loves to play with the other girls, she makes me tea, she plays outside, she dresses herself every day without hardly any prompting. asma was such a brat and wouldn't listen to anything i said, she just did her own thing, she grabbed toys and threw lots of fits. now i just look at her and she listens and she's way better at sharing. baraa wouldn't listen to anything anyone said when she came. she fell all the time because she wouldn't pay attention to what was going on, she would get out of her bed during nap time. now she loves to play with the other girls, she's getting better at waiting for us to help her walk or get up, she lets hiba help her. razan didn't talk much and was really selfish with toys or anything when she got here. now she's great at playing with the girls, she'll share things, sometimes without being told to. she loves to help hiba make the bed or help fold laundry, things she didn't do when she came.
it seems like little improvements that may not seem to matter. but i can see them becoming more like "real people", not just little kids. even if aya is just making fake tea, it means she's paying attention to life, watching carefully, and wanting to be like an adult. even is sheda is just barely sharing toys, it means less fights with her siblings for her parents to deal with. even if hiba is just learning how to wash dishes and still isn't very great at it, it means she is willing to help and will be able to be a part of her family. when i think of how far the girls have come it makes all the late nights, all the fights, all the putting them in time-outs and feeling awful for it, all the peed beds, all the headaches worth it.