It was cruelty that put him here. The cruelties of poverty, of corruption, of one governmental thievery after another. Our government to theirs. Their government to their people.
It was cruelty that put him in a cage, that gave him no choice but to keep on keeping on, train after train, burnt house back home, left-behind baby sisters, parents unable or unwilling to give him what he really needed, really wanted in life.
It was cruelty that led him to my classroom and into the basement “bedroom” of our home.
But today, there was no cruelty. Only the miracle of another turn around the sun. And this eighteen-year milestone is so much more than the tres leches cake my youngest prepared, so much more savory than the two pot roasts we spent half the day cooking, more than the intricately-decorated banner, the piñata he never could hit as a kid.
Today, there was only humanity.
The humanity that bleeds through the cruelty even when you think it isn’t there. In programs established by past presidents that a team of social workers, caseworkers, and even a famous poet worked tirelessly to get him into before his eighteenth birthday, when suddenly, and for completely arbitrary reasons, our government labels young boys adults.
The humanity in lawyers working day and night, in the middle of Christmas and New Year’s while visiting family, who are willing to send emails and make phone calls and answer every stupefied gringo-I-don’t-know-the-law question.
The humanity in my friends who sent gift cards, cash, and prayers, to thank me for bringing this boy home.
Cruelty brought him here. But humanity has won.
If you combine C & H, you’ll have nothing but sugar. Pure sweetness.
And that is what I want you to taste as you read this post, as you click on these links. The sweetness of humanity. It may seem to be hiding behind the C, but without it, what would we have?
Certainly not a game of spoons. A party of smiling teenagers. An artist’s pencil.
Or a speck of hope.
Blow out these candles with us. Sing this song in broken Spanish. And relish these sweet dreams. They are yours. They are his. They are all of ours.
And they are sweeter than any cruelty you could imagine. Just taste them. Take a moment to taste how sweet our world could be.