Please read “About this project and the Author” for more information on my project. Daryl recalls the interns – part 3.
“The interns alternated the time of the day they spent with us so in the beginning Andrée was there in the mornings, then she moved to afternoons and ended her internship on the evening shift. I loved every second she was there. I spent the precious hours she was with us staring at her, drinking her every word, burning the image of her face in my mind and imagining crazy scenarios like I was a hero and I was saving her from grave danger.
Over time, I also felt close to Pete who at first seemed a little out of his element. Our educators, male or female, were strong figures to us which was what we needed just like any other children. They were also showing a level of understanding toward us you can’t fake, especially when you spend your days with kids craving it as much as we did. Pete didn’t seem to be of a caring nature to begin with and looked like he was in over his head for the first few weeks. He wasn’t mean or abrupt or anything like that, it just wasn’t natural for him and we could sense it. At one point, no doubt as a test of will, our educators left him on his own for an entire afternoon in charge of all of us. I guess that’s when everything clicked for him and for us as well. Interacting with us quickly, very quickly, became second nature for him. Pete tapped into quality of communication he didn’t know he had and reached a point where, when he looked at one of us in the eyes, we had no other choice but to pay attention and listen; not because we were afraid, but because we could feel he meant what he felt and therefore felt what he said. This is how a message reaches the inside of someone.
Once, I can’t remember what it was but I did something that really upset him so he sat in a chair and made me stand in front of him. He gently put his giant hands on both my arms and said “Daryl, I thought you and I were friends.” His words crashed against my heart and I immediately began to cry. I instinctively hugged him and he spent all the time he needed to comfort me.
As I mentioned earlier, at the end of her internship, Andrée was on the evening shift which was by far the most quiet period of the day at Ville Joie. After dinner, she would accompany us in the backyard and play with us until it was time to go back inside where she would supervise us getting ready for bed after a light snack in the cafeteria at which I sat next to her every night. Before lights out, she would go to each of the rooms, making sure everyone was comfortable for the night and, thanks to the layout of our dormitory, I was the last one she would come visit. We had our own short but how important ritual where she would sit on the edge of my bed to confirm I was tucked in very tight and then start laughing the moment she would see the look on my face, which had to be nothing but a look of pure and utter contentment.
She knew. She knew and she played along with just the right amount of distance and the perfect amount of kindness.
“Good night André with two E’s”.
“Sweet dreams Daryl”
None of the other kids got that treatment, which is why we whispered our wishes for the night and I never mentioned anything to anyone, except Allan of course. Andrée and I had our secret and it made me feel so incredibly special…”
Do not reproduce or copy the content of this post as it is the sole property of citizenofvillejoie.com