There was an orphan I knew; blind and with developmental delays. His name was Dao Dao.
His favorite song was “Let It Be” by the Beatles. Holding my phone from which the music came, he did not like other kids taking the phone away from him.
“Hold it tighter then” I said to him.
“I will hold it very tight!” He waved his body back and forth listening to the song. After a few minutes, when the other kids tried to take the phone from his clenched hands, anguish overwrote his face.
“They are trying to take my phone!”
I didn’t understand before why he would throw tantrums. He hit my head once with his, striking my nose. Frustrated, I would tell him that it was a wrong thing to do to anyone, only to be mocked by his laughter.
He was very in need of love then. Volunteers came from time to time, playing with the younger orphans who suffered from heart problems, but otherwise cute toddlers. Even the caretakers of the foster home favored the younger children, showering them with more biscuits, more assistance, and more attention. Children like Dao Dao who were not very good with pleasing people were left on the side.
Dao Dao and I spent a lot of time together in the last two months we had in the summer of 2015. We would take walks together, sometimes with his toy car that he ‘drove.’
“Beep, beep!!!” He shouted on the streets, with his butt firmly planted on his car. Then he poked his eyes with his thumbs, an old habit he had.
“Dao Dao! We are going!” I let him know so that he puts his hands back on the stirring wheel and give his eyes a break.
He would smile, really big. It was my favorite smile. He loved the swings too. And to run, without his white cane, which he would give to me. Running on a road he couldn’t see. Out of carelessness, I forgot to tell him about the speed bump that lied in front of us. He fell once, only to giggle when he stood.
Where I live today, a housemate came out vulnerably to tell us that she needed more love and care.
I remember Daodao.