Take Sight of Hope, the Big Picture

September 24, 2010
By liz amanieh BRONZE, Palatine, Illinois
liz amanieh BRONZE, Palatine, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I couldn’t even hear my own thoughts on this day; it was like that moment in the movies when everything rushes in, all that circling information, like an illusion floods that large mass of 1300 grams. Not allowing anything else to be pondered except your current involvement. It was such a timeless feeling, being able to just take it all in. Being able to interact with these girls for the first time was quite a shock. It’s like a different world, I felt somewhat spoiled. I felt like it was my fault for what they have to adapt to, such differences they had to get accustomed to. I learned that it wasn’t my fault, but only how the world works, just to keep us all in check. But getting to this point of appreciating God’s way of keeping us in check is getting far ahead of myself, so let me backtrack.
The air was crisp that afternoon, delightful, yet dawning the winter that was almost over. As I stepped outside I felt my bare legs tremble, leaving a tingle of cold air and an accumulation of goose bumps to travel through. Realizing that I wasn’t properly dressed for the weather wasn’t enough to make me late so I carried on. Everything was melting, just like my patience I had for my mother as I waited for her to drive me. Six hundred seconds pass and were finally out of the house, which might’ve even been a new record for her.
We pulled up to some elementary school whose color stuck out at me, nothing unusual, it was plain, uninviting to say the least. As I waved goodbye to mom and closed the door, my eyes shifted to the pavement, tarnished and filled with cracks, ones that ants thrived off of. Yet oddly there weren’t any, the schools uninviting feel was enough to scare them away. Woosh, a whiff of air whistled past me and I tasted the cold air. As I walked into the school, I smelt something very repelling and pungent, the same smell of emptiness, and replacement, and the smell of renovation at the school. Despite the smell, I had much anticipation. I was looking around and then finally approached by a woman, who looked exhausted. Little did I know, the woman with bags under her eyes, from what looked like sleep deprivation, and her happy go lucky attitude would be my source of comfort and advice throughout the very unfamiliar territory I would spend my afternoons. Miss Terri’s lack of upkeep on looking young caught my attention as I guilted myself about my recent shopping splurge at M.A.C. Her freckled skin, round bright Tiffany blue eyes (which had much potential for makeup), pouting lips, and her scraggly chestnut hair were not at all qualities of a thirty two year old ready to mingle Special Education teacher should be. Yet appearances were slowly just drifting as an idea of only characterization, and not basis of critiquing someone. So I was ready to take this motto and jump into this program whole heartedly, not with one half unconsciously thinking of ways to enhance her appearance.
She directed me to take a seat with her as we waited for the girls to arrive. We were also waiting on the other coaches, surprisingly I was the first coach there. I and four other girls were going to be starting a Special Olympics cheerleading squad and were holding tryouts that day. As time straggled on by, all the coaches arrived and we were then anticipating the girls. Finally, a total of six girls showed up. We were ecstatic, not expecting so many of them! We were immediately looking forward to a great season, especially with such unique girls.
Before we began, I took a skim at all the girls who showed up, all with smirks, their faces all illuminated by such joy and I was invigorated. We directed them into the tarnished, vacant gym were we could get to know the girls better. We sat in a circle, and introduced ourselves. As I am bad with names, but not faces (thanks to Facebook), I engrained my mind to focus nothing but the task at hand. Even though they all have something in common, they were so incomparable. Their personalities shined through that massive, dim gym and made everyone feel much more invited.
We were running out of time, so we moved on to skills. We had the girls circle up, and quickly went to work. As we demonstrated the moves and stretches, I noticed the girls all at a lost for words, clueless. So we decided that they weren’t going to get these moves without some guidance and one on one attention. As I walked up to my first cheerleader, Kaylee, I saw her almond brown eyes illuminate her face. I felt as if I was intruding on her, not allowing her to fully express herself by taking her hands and pulling them in each direction as one of the coaches instructed. Her hands, gentle at touch, slippery like soap, flew all over the place. We went through the moves again and I could see Kaylee getting impatient quickly and I noticed myself losing patience when she wouldn’t listen. “Kaylee, Kaylee, hun, follow my movements, just watch me,” I stated as I realized I was not one to teach cheers. “No,” she mumbled as she lingered away from me, as if she intently wanted to ignore me. That word was enough to trigger a flood of emotions. We’re there now, those flooding moments in my brain which I described earlier, here’s when it starts. First, its drips, ‘could I continue on with this, im already impatient as it is.’ Then it starts to pour, ‘I could be at home coming up with dance moves for our next showcase on Saturday.’ Then it flooded, and now I’m drowning, ‘I could be doing my homework.’ I could be, i, that’s when i realized all that was important to me was myself. I wasn’t going into this wholeheartedly like i had convinced myself earlier. Now i feel light headed, my head feels cloudy, my eyes hurt. All the rain is gone, It stopped and i could hear the voices of the other coaches again. I felt as if there was a maze in my stomach and i couldn’t get through it, but i was suddenly reminded that i’m not the only important person there. I looked at Kaylee a different way, not with sympathy but with hope. I was there to give her hope, that’s why i was there. Everything happens for a reason, and that’s why i was there.
“Oh, Kaylee come here, and we will get through this together. Now I know it makes you angry, but once you get it, you’ll be singing this cheer all week long,” i said without a single ounce of apprehension. 360, 270, 180, she turned around as if she was making a spin around a perfect circle, so precisely and resistant. “Okay, but you need to put a smile on,” intently stating while she chuckled at me. I put one on, and i’ve kept it on. I have now know Kaylee for a year, and we have developed such an unmistakable, powerful bond that I owe all to a glimpse of hope. If Kaylee didn’t get that sense of security she wouldn’t have been so comfortable with me now. If Kaylee wasn’t there that day, then i wouldn’t have gotten such a reality check. It’s amazing how God works everything out. Such an emotional experience wouldn’t have given ME hope for the future.

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