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Seeing

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Heart Felt

When I was a teenager, I had a recurring babysitting job that involved taking care of twin girls who were around 18 months old.  They had no other siblings.  I remember that one was attempting to use the toilet and that neither used many words yet that were understandable.  I say yet understandable, because they actually had many words that they shared between themselves–but I didn’t understand.  Perhaps their parents translated the gist of their communications.

My job was certainly to take care of these little girls, but they left me little to do.  They were a self-contained unit of discussing, moving, arguing, toddling.  When one would laugh, the other would laugh.  Crying was a joint occupation, as well.  They did not invite me into their world much.  I was grudgingly accepted in their space when there was a need for food, for diaper or clothes changing, or for help into their cribs.

There was rarely crying or distress when I left them to sleep.  I could see them looking to each other through crib slats as I left them.  From the small room just outside their bedroom, I could hear them draw on their day, yacking and blabbing and chuckling until their sounds ebbed and they fell asleep.

I was enamored.  I was fascinated.  I was in awe of just how much these two girls needed little other than each other.  I was in love.

This was the beginning of my watching and learning from very young people.  Today, over forty years later, I am still taken aback by the inherent abilities of humans from the very start.  And I still have so much to learn.