This little guy. Hit in the head with a rubber bullet on Sunday, he was back again testing the limits by being this close to the confrontation today. I had some balloons and gave one to him. He continued closer to the fence, but far enough not to be in danger. He had blown up the balloon and kicked it. It rolled through the grass as he picked up some small pebbles and threw them towards the chaos. Then he marched over and with such force stomped on the balloon. POP! Typical boy stuff.
He came back over to us and we asked him more about what had happened to him Sunday. At first, he had joined the guys in the protest. Then after he saw our faces of disapproval changed his story to say that he was an innocent bystander.
All of our misunderstood words and lectures about how he should stay safe and not participate or get close to this kind of thing were thrown aside. However, after some silence, I thought I’d try one more thing. I opened my bag and pulled out some markers.
“Do you like these?” *Eyebrows raise* I had caught his interest. I gave him a pack of the markers (I brought 5 packs just in case…) and we examined the unique colors and pretty legitimate quality.
“One end is small, like a pen…”
“The other big!” he said with an authentic smile.
I felt as if I was in a parallel universe in that moment. Tear gas is being tossed yards away and we were focused solely on the coolest markers ever. Luckily that morning, amazing Oikopolis people had found me a notebook (perfect for a young dude like this one) so he was all set.
Once he had the book and said his thank yous, he began to walk back into the camp miming to us that he was going to his “home” to draw.