Sucking Lemons

She’s a lemon eater. I had some lemons on the counter last week and she, in typical Rwandan style, raised her eyebrows and nodded towards it. “A lemon? You want a lemon? You don’t want a lemon. It’s sour. Ewww.” But she insisted. Clay handed her one that had been cut in half, and she licked it. Sure enough, she gave us the sour face. But then she licked it again. And bit it. And she ate that whole half of a lemon, squeezing it to get every last sour drop.

She attacks her whole life like a lemon. Sure, it may be sour sometimes, but there’s goodness to be had. You just have to dig in and get to it. She paints her own nails, sparkly purple last I checked. It’s a little harder to hold the nail brush with her hands, but no biggie. She met a new friend, last week, an exuberent girl from Russia who also speaks very little English.

After a little fishing, they shared a tube ride . This fun, boisterous, brave girl from Russia drug her foot in the water as we three were pulled, Rebeka, Vika and I. We were splashed all over, and even though Rebeka’s face was covered in water and she had to use her leg to get her arm up so she could wipe her eyes clear, she hooted for more. She smiled and laughed and loved it.

I guess in a way I am seeing more goodness in the lemon these days. Those twisted feet that made me wince the first time I saw her hobble on them look beautiful to me now. Permanently pointed like ballerina feet, they look almost graceful.

After taking several hundred pictures on Alayna’s phone, we found Rebeka an old one that doesn’t have service, but still takes pictures, so she could have her own. She took over 600 in one day!

She sailed through her dental visit last week with just a little whimper. No cavities since she takes such good care of those teeth, brushing the tar out of them every night all by herself. Now that she has her own flosser, she goes after them with even more vigor.

She threw back her head and laughed when she beat Clay at a game last night. She can steer a skateboard down the driveway. She can put on goggles and hold her breath for ten seconds with her face in the water. When Clay swam up and startled her from under a raft, she screamed in delight and giggled and wanted more, more, more! No matter that it’s a little harder to reach across the game board, and she has to have someone help her get her arms in front of her on the raft, and her kicks don’t get her across the pool very quickly. It’s fun, and she’s all smiles.

This morning, she got her first cast.

It was hard, she was afraid, it was a lemon of a morning. But this afternoon, she’s all smiles again.

Come sign my cast!

Next week, this cast is taken off and a new one will replace it. Then again the week after that. I have no worries that this little girl will figure out a way to suck the marrow from life, like juice from a lemon, no matter what is thrown her way, and I am reminded of this quote from Thoreau: “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”

4 Responses to “Sucking Lemons”

  1. leslie erfurt

    What a precious gem this little Rebeka is! I pray that these procedures are able to do all that they need to do. It’s clear that wherever this road takes her she will do amazing things!

  2. Mom

    Love that sweet smile in the picture of her with her cast. She looks like she is growing more confident each day and I know much of that comes from the love your family has shown her and the amazingly fun things you have done with her. God only knows how you have impacted her for a lifetime and where he will use her in her lifetime. It will be fun to see.

  3. amy duncan

    yeah God, and yeah Davises for leaping out. When we give our hearts we get so much more in return it hardly seems right. God is good – he made the lemons too!


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