For the past three months I have been hosting Wednesday Game Night at my house for some of the neighborhood children. Realizing that I’ve made quite a few younger friends, but that I also need to get work done during the day, I decided to devote my Wednesday evenings to numerous rounds of Bruja (Old Maid), Hens and Chicks, and Go Fish. However, these sessions have turned into much more than just learning to play fair. They have fostered theological discussions, gender debates, and even crazy dance parties.
About a month ago, Brisa (7), Daniella (9), Alondra (8), and Emily (6) were sitting on my porch playing Hens and Chicks. I can’t remember how the conversation started, but somehow we ended up discussing whether or not the devil really exists. Each girl was falling out of her seat trying to get everyone’s attention in order to express her opinion. They started raising their hands, and I tried to organize them into some sort of order. We practiced listening and responding to each other’s comments, and we heard everything from the traditional Catholic story of the fallen angel to the argument that the devil doesn’t exist because we can’t see him to a discussion of evil in the world and if/how we each pray about it. (Keep in mind I wasn’t instigating any of these comments because I was too busy trying to maintain some order). It was pretty incredible to hear some of the arguments being made and personal stories being shared, but I think what struck me most was how eager each girl was to participate. Sometimes one girl would just repeat what another girl said, or say something that really wasn’t very coherent, but even if she wasn’t following the topic, she wanted to have her say. I hope these girls always fight to have their voices heard.