Sunday, September 14, 2014

an ode to ankle biters

Okay guys. I work with kiddos now. It's not a population that I ever thought I'd be interacting with therapeutically, hence the majority of my Master's research being on elders. Kiddos weren't part of the plan. Ever. Hospice? Palliative care? Bereavement? Veterans? Yes to all. Adults speak my language. Kids? Not so much.

So when I landed this job out of the blue, one that affords me to stay in this wonderful place that I've grown to love and call home, I pretty much leapt on it without thinking too much. 

And then when I actually started thinking about it, I kind of freaked out. CHILDREN? What do I know about helping SED children? Will I even like it? Will I be an effective clinician?

However, I have to say that just in the last two weeks since I started my new job, their grubby, sweaty, sticky little fingers have wrapped themselves around my heart and claimed it. 

That's not to say that every day isn't a struggle, because really, it is. I think I spent more time on the ground and playing with legos and matchbox cars last week than really delving into my fancy interventions and therapy mumbo jumbo. And don't even get me started on the ones that want to slither on the ground and run away from me. Sheesh.

And I'm going to learn to be okay with all of that. 

The fact is that with children, they can't always delve into the reasons behind all of their actions or even really what in their lives is causing them agony. It's not always about words, but so much about behaviors and the changes from day to day. It's a different kind of intuition muscle that I'll have to strengthen and build. Which means, among other things, that I'm humbled and learning so much every single day. 

And really, what more could I ask for? Learning about the human condition, whatever the hell that is, that's what it's always been about for me. 

And while it's not always easy to be zen or even keep my cool while a small child is throwing things at me and screaming "I hate you, you're stupid!!" One moment and then the next moment wants me to read a book out loud to them, I'm finding out why people always use that cliche about patience being a virtue or something lame. 

It's heartbreaking work and heart mending work and never the same two days in a row. 

I'm happy.