Monday, July 20, 2009

Childhood Playgrounds - Passage Three

Passage Three : (Home With Foster Parents)

Light peered in through the small cracks of the wooden gates that stood before the yard. The pale cement wall wrapped itself around the yard as if to protect the children who lived there. An old wooden outhouse stood by the corner of the yard full and waiting for the men to come with their buckets. Along the cement walls, golden flowers danced about catching the little breeze that would sneak in and out of this yard.

I pulled myself up to peek over the wall and above the slanted red roof tops. I could see other gardens and walls stretched around house after house. The same beautiful flowers grew up and down the pathways following the walls that encircled us. I climbed back down and continued to play with the other children. We laughed and tickled one another as we rolled around the bumpy ground.

I was wrapped up in my own fun when I was surprised by a tap on my shoulder. Trying to find my way out of the tangled bunch, I escaped to see my Foster Mother smiling down at me. Her warm smile took me away to the distant memories of my Father. As I was wrapped up with my thoughts of my Father, I heard a voice calling my name. "KyungMee." "KyungMee."

My Foster Mother pulled me to my feet and dusted the dirt off my clothes as she spoke to me.
"KyungMee, do you want to go buy groceries with me?' I gathered myself together, smiled and nodded to answer her. I ran quickly over to the house, took off my shoes to enter, and grabbed the wicker basket that was sitting against the tall, rectangular, rice container. I slid the paper doors shut and walked over to my Foster Mother to begin our journey into town.

The Market place was filled with people, clothes, food and many shiny pretty objects. The noise cluttered the narrow streets as much as the merchandise had taken over every side street, corner, and block. I held onto her hand tightly as we passed plates of Mandu dumplings and rows of metal containers filled with Dukbulgi, rice cakes and rows of various vegetables. As my eyes randomly scanned the goods, I noticed a little pink plastic flower barrette. My Foster Mother stopped and leaned down to see what had caused me to stop walking. She noticed the pink barrette sitting on the white sheet. She pulled out her purse and paid the lady the money and clipped the barrette into my hair. Feeling the barrette in my hair I smiled. I couldn't remember ever getting a gift before I had met her. As we continued shopping, I looked up shyly and thanked her.

By the time we arrived at the house, my Foster Mother began to cook. The other children and I ran over to help her. Standing there together, cooking with her, I felt good. I felt pleased to be with my new family. Smiling down at us, our Foster Mother handed us each a piece of watermelon. We were all very excited as we sat and ate our watermelon. While I sat there watching her lean over the big round coal, trying to light it, I counted the the little black watermelon seeds. I reached my hand over to her trying to signal her attention. My Foster Mother looked down at me. I held out the seeds in front of her and told her that they were a gift. I told her my wish was for her to plant the seeds in her garden and water them everyday. And everyday, as she watch them grow, to remember me. To remember me when I leave to go live in America.

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