Sweat. Shaking hands. Silence.

I was nervous.

Sweat. Shaking hands. Silence.

I've never worked with kids with disablilities before.

Sweat. Shaking hands. Silence.

I walked in.

Sweat. Skaing hands. Silence.

A crazy lady with a pony tail greeted me and told me the names of the kids I would be working with.

Sweat. Shaking hands. Silence.

David. Deserie. Celeste. Jake. Jeffery. Brian. Trevor.

They were all my age. From Freshman to Seniors, they are were smiling and laughing.

Sweat. Shaking hands. Silence.

I didn't know what to do. I sat there while they spoke to me though I couldn't understand them. I didn't feel like I belonged.

Sweat. Shaking hands. Silence.

My name is Marley, but I was called multiple things. Marwee, Mar, Flower Princess, Ms., LeeLee, anything that made it easier for them.

Sweat. Shaking hands. Silence.

Day after day rolled by and I learned to love unconditionally while working harder than I ever have. From coloring to dragging kids to time out. Making sure that no one felt left out. I ran to hold open doors for others instead of expecting it for myself. I leanred how to truck a wheelchair in 110 degree heat.


The days were full of high fives, hugs, and fist bumps. With hands on activities, I learned that the word retarded insulted these kids like the word cunt insults me. We'd wave to new friends and touch the sky while learning our A B C's and 1 2 3's. Looking at the words largest rubber duck and baby pandas because what other is there to do than laugh at silly miracles in life instead of depressing ones. Listening to music and dancing the day away because I didn't care what others thought because I knew these kids certainly didn't.

Shaking hands. 

And I would go home and reflect on my life. On how much I have and how much I take for granted in my life. I can drive a car. I can talk and see and hear. I can eat on my own, I can dress myself, I can go to the restroom alone, and I don't need constant supervision.

Sometimes I'll sit alone in my room and wonder how different their lives would be if I didn't help them. And then I realize, how different my life would be if I didn't help those kids.


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