It’s Monday the 19th, and it is the first day of school in the United States for my son Malcom. They have placed him in an excellent educational center. It is a preview of our lives here, but at the same time it somehow also connects with what we left behind. No one asked us for our party affiliation, and there was not a single director who demanded to see our proof of social integration. This is a sharp contrast, which we will be grateful for the rest of our lives.
What makes me the happiest about this course, which he has continued 90 miles from his first home, is that he doesn’t not have to lift his hand and put his thumb on his forehead and say that he wants to be like someone. In Cuba, when told, all students must repeat at the top of their lungs “Pioneers for Communism!”, and “We Will be like Che Guevara!” Here, they want him to be like himself, what they wish to see in his attitude is his capacity to demonstrate his talent and physical and intellectual abilities. This morning, he raised his hand to offer it in friendship to dozens of children from three continents. He made some cartoon drawings and excitedly brought them home. It was a new day, with no necessities to read him a manual about heroes chosen by a few, nor will they ask him to praise what he does not want.
A tricolor soccer ball rolled and bounced off the ground and the steps of my son walked towards the field like someone searching for the world, with strength, with reasons and with desires of being the man who had his dreams interrupted a few years ago, but who stars again now as a simple schoolboy who will offer his generous hand and not a scream, a kick, or a slogan.
Translated by Raul G.
20 November 2012