I don’t know what type of little girl she is, but judging by the boxes of her cherished possessions, I saw her love of stuffed animals, the color pink and that she had a birthday at a bowling alley, where everyone signed a bowling pin.
I walked into work today and joked to a coworker that the strange array of items in our lobby suggested we were having a pre-teen garage sale. She looked down and taped, and emptied. The CPS division never talks much- I can’t imagine seeing what they see daily and still managing to go home and do anything but hug my child. Dinner would never be made- because Ava wouldn’t leave my arms.
I heard her tell another coworker, “These boxes are trash- do we have to drag it all the way out?” I looked at the pile of the discarded, and in the unwanted pile, a white plastic box with a blue lid stood out amongst the rest. The top was covered in sparkly stickers, and I wondered who would explain to the girl that the treasure box, wasn’t a treasure in someone else’s eyes.
But that’s just it, isn’t it? What one person sees as garbage, another sees as vital importance. Without her there- who would make the right decisions? I’m anti-illegal-immigration, but for one moment- my mind changed and I wanted that little girl here, without a ruthless government, or corrupt police. I wanted her to have another party at a bowling alley, more than anything else. She was being extradited back to Mexico, and after hearing it would cost over $3,000 to send all the boxes to her new home, they went through each box and painstakingly picked and sorted and decided. All the stuffed animals went, some schoolwork was tossed. The stickered box was a casualty for an adult who didn’t understand the value of where true treasures, (a wrinkled photo, a pencil eraser, a note from a boy,) should be kept safely and adorned with pink glitter.
I watched the heaviness in their eyes as they picked through- arms like robots, hearts in pain over deciding what a little girl shouldn’t have to live without. Tape soon blocked off the exhibit- almost like a warning: Watch what happens when you are found. The trash pile overpowered the keep pile and precious things laid in a pile, along with my guilt.
I often join in on conversations about closing our borders to illegal immigrants. (I selfishly worry about our education/healthcare and social services funds.) I worry most about the tax dollars I’m paying going towards my daughter: I’m a mom. This happens. Suddenly today: I see the aftermath of what I conversed about and it changed me- not to become pro-immigration, or pro-bowling parties, but pro-humanism.
I probably made no difference, but when no one was looking, I took the sticker box and tucked it under a pink bear. To little girls- sometimes the biggest treasures are the power to dream. That box may someday hold so much more than we ever think it could.
Stay safe, little one.