Monday, July 12, 2010

The Long Road

"Look at those little kids, Phoebe. Do you remember when you were that small?"

Phoebe pointed to a five-year-old rehearsing a dance sequence with her kindergarten class.

"See that girl, Ms. Ryane?"


"I was smaller than her when I was five."

"That's pretty small. Where were you when you were five?"


"And then?"

"When I was six I moved to Chicago."

"That must've been some change, Phoebe. Haiti to Chicago. How was that?"

"Well," Phoebe laughed remembering, "I couldn't even speak English. I could only speak Creole."

A year and a half ago Phoebe left the adoptive family in Chicago and found herself in Los Angeles and into the arms of new parents, who love and appreciate Phoebe's gifts. She now has three Haitian sisters to lean on, wrangle with and share the unique experience of having traveled the long road to home.

"Look at you now, Phoebe. Three years ago only Creole and now not just English, but big fat Elizabethan English."

Phoebe is our Lady Macbeth. Full of saucy attitude and with that special something we call charisma. She has the light. She was born with it. It's impossible to overlook Phoebe on a playground or ever, ever on a stage.

"When I was in Chicago, my mom there took out my hair and didn't know how to put it back together."

"So, what happened?"

"I just figured it out and did it myself. I made my own cornrows."

Little tiny fingers on a little tiny girl figuring it out.

"Phoebe, you will always succeed. You are talented, smart and resourceful."

She nodded. She smiled the smile of someone who already knew. We continued to watch the five-year-olds rehearse their dance for a few more minutes.

"Should we run the sleepwalking scene, Phoebe?"


She walked away from me, picked a position and turned to face me.

"Ms. Ryane, I'm so excited."

Here's where I expected her to express the thrill of playing a leading role.

"Why's that, Phoebe?"

"Macbeth is going to be King and I will be Queen!"

Like a real actor, Phoebe thinks from the inside out.

"That's true but right now we're looking at the scene where you're kind of cracking up."

Yet here's a spot.
Out damned spot! Out I say!
Yet who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him.
What, will these hands ne'er be clean?
Here's the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh. Oh. Oh!

Phoebe smacked at her hands, trying to get the imaginary blood off her palms.

Oh Phoebe, I'm so excited, I thought. You are the gift that keeps on giving.

I am the witches cures. I live on a little hill. My friends are Miranda and Maritea. I eat bugs, fish and stinky worms. I believe in powers. I want everything in the whole world. I will make a poshin that turns my mother to yes everytime. I am afraid of lions at night. I am afraid of other witches. I am loyal to my powers. I am loyal to the other witches. I am a really sassy witch. I dress pritty. I am mean because I am a witch. I am a really brave. Exepet at night.

I will even drink a lot of poschen. The poshin is a pinkish brown. Pink stands for witch. I you put them together it brings power to the wand. The wond is hot pink with red dots on it. At the end it has my face on it encase some other witch snatch or steal it. The stick is I put my stuff and house. I have to do a special power to go in the stick. My house is old and cracy. Every time you go in the bat tickle you. If it is me it gose to it's place. We never go some where exept to the castle. We have to dress really nice. If they found out some people weren't invited to the party they would kill you.
Natalie, 4th grade

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