Denis showed up on day one. I don't remember anything about him from that day. I was busy with the other kids, especially one or two of the troublesome boys. however, he made his presence known on Tuesday, and every day after that.
it was quite interesting having a troublesome boy in my group. not interesting because I disliked him, but interesting because we didn't speak the same language. it made it difficult for me to get anything across to him. tone of voice didn't usually work with him either. he was a bit of a problem. he would run away in between classes and wouldn't come back. I would have to get Filip or one of the David's to bring him to our classroom. they usually would have to just grab him and force him back into class. we were always lucky if he stayed in the first time. usually it took two or three tries.
he came every morning, wearing a black hat. he wouldn't let anyone else touch that hat. if you tried, he got mad. (I speak from personal experience here). he had jet-black hair and a cute, lop-sided grin.
somehow, as much trouble as he was, I couldn't be mad at him. yeah, he irritated me at times, but I loved that kid. he biked to camp every morning, and his grandmother would come in the afternoon and they would walk or bike away from school. He looked just like his grandmother, her hair as jet black as his and with the same smile. I don't know if his parents were around, but I never saw them.
he caused a whole lot of trouble in class. it didn't matter who he was sitting beside, he would cause some sort of ruckus. I tried everything, having Michaela fuss at him in Slovak, putting him at a table with the girls, taking away his stuff, but nothing worked. it wasn't until the last day that he didn't cause me any trouble. he sat himself on the floor of the classroom and didn't say anything. he listened to the lesson and didn't bother the other kids. it was a miracle.
Denis was the only one of my kiddos who made it a point to tell me goodbye after camp each day. he would try to tell me goodbye, but it never worked out because of the language barrier, but he would make it clear that he was leaving. usually I walked outside with him and watched him climb on his bike as his grandmother stood by his side. he would turn around and wave and then be off.
truth is, I miss Denis. I miss his grin. I even miss having to chase him down in the hallway. I pray for Denis a lot, too. hopefully, I'll see that kid next summer.