Lucía Duque

Handle with care, they contain dreams

Wherever we go we have embedded in our hearts bits of experiences of our past. When I think of Malaga, the city where I grew up, there are three things that quickly appear in my mind: the sensation of my feet walking along the seashore, the smell of clean sheets at my mother's house and the satisfaction that gave me to start my own painting academy.

One of my favorite memories teaching was when I suddenly realized that there was a 7-year-old intruder circling the classroom watching the other children paint. He looked at me very seriously and said: "Ma'am, I want to come to your classes" and I said "of course! You're more than welcome to but you have to talk to your mother."

I worked in a cultural center, so he was on his way to another class when he ran into mine.

When his mother came the next day, she told me: “Lucia, my son is a very bad student, he always has a lot of problems at school and doesn't behave well. He has been expelled several times and he has a very bad attitude. Please, if he causes you problems, tell me and I won't bring him anymore. ” I told her: "We are going to try to see how it goes."

He was in my classes for three years and I never had a single problem with him. He loved to draw with charcoal, he was always very focused, he encouraged his classmates, he was the first to help clean the class ... he was a wonderful student. When he told his mother, she told me she couldn't believe it.

Honestly, I did nothing but teach him that through painting he had a shelter to express himself, where he could feel unique and special.

"A sign should be placed on each child that says: Handle with care, contains dreams." Mirko Badiale.

When I think of Maya, a smile draws my face. She was only 5 years old and in a short time she started painting like a much older girl! She was quite nervous, her parents said "she's can't sit still" I noticed that she struggled to concentrate like the other children sitting in a chair.

She told me that she loves to dance and was always singing songs that made me laugh. In one of the first classes she asked me "can I dance while I paint?"

So I told her, of course!

She was so funny! She loved classical dance so she painted standing on her easel and from time to time you could see her doing ballet skips.

With classes I have also grown a lot on a personal level, because in every place where I have lived, they helped me to take deep roots and feel apart of the community. Every time I had to move from one city to another and I had to leave my students behind, both with the children and adults, one of the most difficult things was to say goodbye, because as I try to plant in them seeds of love and hope, they have also marked my life.

After a year in Mississippi, I have realized how much I miss teaching. Therefore, this month I decided to do it again. I'm starting completely from scratch, in a new place where nobody knows me, but I am very excited and I hope that my new students can enjoy it. This time it will be even more unforgettable because in January we're expecting a new gift from God in our lives.

A few months ago my husband jumped for joy and my dog ran around barking all over the house with him. We had just heard the greatest news of our lives. We were going to be parents for the first time. It took me a few weeks to process it, although the symptoms took me out of the game and I have been almost all of the first quarter in bed watching Netflix series without being able to do much more than complain about nausea and being tired. This has been one of the reasons why I was quite absent here and on social networks. Josh has been so great from the first moment, taking care of me, pampering me and helping me in everything I have needed.

After seeing that little little person inside me through a black and white TV and hearing his little heart beat, all the emotions came suddenly.

My belly is starting to grow a lot, and at night, little by little I notice the baby's movements like the flutter of a butterfly.

Now I am in my second trimester and I feel like a new woman!

I have been working with children for so many years through painting classes, teaching them, encouraging them, taking care of their hearts and dreams, letting them know that they are the treasure of this society ... and yet now, the great responsibility that I have in my hands overwhelms me. As a future mother, children are our greatest treasures, in which each pearl that we deposit in them through our words or deeds will have great consequences for their future and that of our humanity.

Therefore, I promised myself to do my best. That each student who attended my classes would have a special place where they could find a place where they could feel safe, enjoy, learn and above all make unforgettable moments. I don't know if the baby inside me will be born an artist and will want to paint with me or sing with Josh, but what we are sure of is taking care of him/her, loving him/her, helping him/her and encouraging him/her to fight for his/her dreams and be a blessing to those who surround us.

Soon I will tell you more things about this new season and my new adventures.

If you are near Clinton, MS and you really want to learn to draw or paint, no matter how young or old, or if you have received classes before or not, click the button below to get more information. I would be delighted to meet you and enjoy art together.

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