Discovering Children

There are kids EVERYWHERE in Paraguay. It might be comical, but that is strange to me. I come from a part of the world were people tend to have few kids, later in life. Further, where I grew up it was rural so families were spread out. The distance between houses limited child congregation. When I moved out of my parents house, I lived on a college campus and then in a “young professionals” neighborhood—so basically no kids.

You might already be aware, but kids are hilarious. They’re always laughing and screaming and running. They get excited over the strangest things and distracted at the drop of a leaf. Did you know that 2-year-olds say the silliest things? Did you know 4-year-olds pronounce words wrong…and it’s hysterical?

Kids are so easy to please. One candy and they’re on top of the world. Kids are grumpy when they’re tired. Paraguayan children look at me and laugh—I’m not sure if that’s because I’m foreign, weird-looking, or just funny.

I think I’m going to miss all the kids around when I move back the States (though my position on having some of my own hasn’t change…um, no…maybe later, but probably not). I still haven’t figured out how to explain to Paraguayans that where I come from kids aren’t as profuse. I don’t know how to explain that I wasn’t raised having to take care of other people’s kids like all (maybe not all, but it seems that way) girls in Paraguay. In Paraguay, “woman” basically means “child bearer and nurturer.” I haven’t exactly figured out how to explain that I see myself as a woman, but I don’t think my main duty is life is to have children.

Culture: It’s the little things that get me…every…single…time.

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