Showing Affection

I am drawing your attention to the word affectionate. Affectionate is a word that demonstrates love. The person involved had to do some thing towards the other person to demonstrate that he or she affectionately loves the person. It is through action that the people can say whether or not this person really likes her or him. I believe that body language speaks louder than words. It’s easier to resist words than body language.

I have worked in one of the schools in the Trafford area. Three quarters of the children were Muslims and a quarter were a mixture of black and white. I was scheduled to start my work at ten in the morning and finish at half past three in the afternoon. At ten o’clock children went for a break and were well supervised by their teachers.

It was at this time when I would arrive at school, the moment the children noticed my presence, they would all leave what they have been doing and rush towards me, hands spread out like wings, their smiles lighting up the whole atmosphere and would embraced me affectionately. I was hugged and kissed. They cheerfully stroked my hair and my cheeks. Every one of the children had a story to tell me. To tell me what they have eaten, where they have travelled to with their parents, what nice things their parents have bought for them, the latest children movie they have seen the previous night: the list was endless.

Somehow it became my daily routine at that school. I wondered what other teachers thought of me or felt about me when they saw these children deserted them as they screamed with joy, and ran affectionately towards me and showed that they like me most. They were about four classes of children, the reception, the year ones and the year twos. At that time I never saw a Muslim, black or white child but  children who were filled with the affection.

Some people thought I have got the charisma that attracts them around. I don’t know whether to believe it or not because I have even noticed so many times that even on the streets that all children irregardless of their race that they are some how drawn to me. They would greet me “hiya” with their lovely voices. Some would cry for me to lift them up even if it is their first time of meeting them, or meeting their parents and sometimes I am making a quick chat with the parent.

I know a lady who was introduced to me by her friend. He mentioned to her that if she got stuck she could call me to babysit her child. When the time came she eventually called me and I spent six hours babysitting her baby. I had a quality time with the baby. When her mum was back she felt confused because she looked into my eyes with excitement and looked to her mum with the same equal excitement and she did it twice looking forwards and backwards. The child was trying to gather her momentum. “Who is my mum here?” Her mum was emotionally touched with the expression she got from her baby. The baby had shown expression of satisfaction. The mother grabbed my right hand and folded in some money. When I looked at the amount it was double pay. I was shocked; she had generously given me more money because her baby was truly happy with me. As from that day we became so close and she continued doing more favours for me.

Why I am writing this article because of my work, which I find very flexible. One day you could see me working in hospital, another day in a school and on another day working with children who have got a challenging behaviour. I have gained the insight of different working conditions. In the past few months I have been sent to work in a young children’s residential home. It’s one -to- one support work. The first time I visited this place was on a Tuesday afternoon and the shift was starting at 3pm and I had arrived thirty minutes earlier.

I went straight into the sitting room and a number of staff had already gathered there. I manoeuvred quietly and took my seat. The moment I sat down I saw a young lady of about twenty-five looking straight into my eyes. Her blond hair swayed to and fro across her shoulders. I immediately sensed that she was one of the residents that we were going to look after. She came straight towards me and I did not know what to expect because some of the children can be violent. I just sat and watched her as she drawn closer to me. Finally her body was leaning on me. She put her hands lightly on my braided hair, smelled and kissed it. I didn’t know the meaning of it but to those who where familiar with her I saw them smiling as they looked at us. They already knew that she liked me. She stayed with me for a while, and then later she went away.

When it was time for handover the manager on duty told me I was going to take care of her. Her name was Rachel ( not her real name). Immediately Rachel came over to me hold my hands and hugged me so many times.  The time flew quickly that day and I thoroughly enjoyed working with Rachel. On the way home, one of the permanent staff offered me a lift. As we animatedly conversed, she asked me how I found my shift that day. I enthusiastically explained that I had a wonderful time with Rachel, and that Rachel enjoyed every minute we spent together. She was shell-shocked.  She explained to me that her first time at work she also worked with Rachel but she did not enjoy her shift because Rachel had constantly pinched her all the time and squeezed her hands hard. We just laughed at the whole concept that Rachel can be really nice to a person she likes and really nasty to a person whom she feels she doesn’t like. I highlighted to her a few good testimonies that I experienced through working with children. She was impressed. In the later weeks I was sent back but I worked with other residents and Rachel had always come and kissed my hair.

Then, it so drastically changed that for a period of two months I was never sent back to the same place but went and worked at other places. It was only last week when I returned to Rachel’s place. The moment she saw me, she screamed and jumped with excitement. I went and sat down in a far corner of the sitting room. She came past other staff members and came straight to me and she hugged me tightly and kissed my hair for a long time. She never moved an inch as she hugged me like a lifetime and her mouth never missed my hair. I reciprocated in a similar way and I put my hand around her waist just to send a message that I affectionately liked her. Every one of the staff was moved with the scene. In my heart I prayed that the senior social support worker would pair us but unfortunately after five minutes of waiting that prayer was never answered and she was paired with another social worker. Inwardly my heart was broken and I knew Rachel did not also like the arrangement.

It was at that moment that the word affection started to float all over my mind. Rachel does not speak even a single word but you have to communicate to her using signs or Makaton sign. Rachel impressively showed her affection towards me by kissing my hair, hugging and leaning over my body. It touched me that this young lady had deeply missed me and to show all this to me she had to demonstrate using her body language, a body language that could be felt and easily understood.

It is because of Rachel who affectionately showed that she deeply loves me and through her actions I have successfully woven this story. To Rachel I applaud you and I wish you were able to read what I have written about you. You are my hero and I always affectionately love you. After reading this article could you go and show some affection to someone for it is never too late. I believe you will come up with jam-packed stories.

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