Today, the women at Lydia’s House had a career event to attend, so I went to help with child care. The girl who caught my eye was Cedria, who was sitting quietly at a table, coloring on a piece of notebook paper while all the other kids are screaming and rolling on the floor and refusing to settle down. She was also the oldest of all the children – she looked like a 5th grader while the others were babies or in pre-school. I sat down next to her and asked her what she was drawing. “Lollipop,” she said in a sweet, timid voice, and used her fingers to outline the lollipop for me. I watched as she colored the background of the lollipop in complementary colors, producing a quite stunning piece of artwork. She then proceeded to color in the background of another lollipop drawing.

With children screaming at each other to my left because they couldn’t figure out how to put together the puzzle to and a little one trying to push a little trailer up my chair to my right, I couldn’t help but find peace in this girl sitting quietly across from me. She seemed very much unbothered by the noise and continued to color as if she was working on her masterpiece. When she was done coloring, she handed one of her papers to me – to show me, I presumed. It was a beautiful picture of a girl (herself, I believe) jump roping under the sun and rainbow. “It’s beautiful,” I told her, “where would you like to put this?” “It’s for you.”

I recall being a little shocked when she said that. I just didn’t expect her to offer a drawing that she worked so hard on to me. She then proceeded to give one drawing to each of the two staff members who were also there taking care of the kids. Maybe she just wanted someone to see her art, but somehow, I think that was her way of saying thank you.

During lunch time, the children ate cut-up hot dogs and crackers/cookies (I was sad about the lack of vegetables), and Cedria was a little busy bee. She was squeezing hand sanitizer out of the bottle for everyone, then handing out plates and ketchup. Now, she wasn’t like one of those children who was helpful yet loud and obnoxious. Cedria was quiet and reserved, but she was helpful, and she was looking after the other children at her table. It was a great deal to me because in the back of my mind, I kept on thinking that, wow, this girl is really going to be something when she grows up.

When I had to leave, I thanked Cedria for her drawing, and promised that I’ll put it up in my room – and it is.

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