Jacob came out from his day program and quickly got into the van. As I buckled his seat belt and then moved into the driver’s seat, a staff member approached my window. G: “I have to tell you about Jacob today.” Even though she had a pleasant expression, I tensed and braced myself to hear everything that might have gone wrong.
Instead, what I heard went something like this, “Jacob had the best day ever.” “He was so playful. He went all over the building, into some of the offices, and was really happy.” “He took our hands and wanted to dance. He wanted to PLAY!” “He smiled and he hugged us.” “He wanted me and S and J to all have fun with him.”
Sometimes the manager will make a point to tell me that Jacob had a good day. Or, that Jacob had been happy all week. But hearing this made it feel like the best day ever for me, too.
As she bragged and smiled telling me about Jacob, he was definitely listening. All ears, hearing and smiling as well. It obviously made him feel good to hear her sharing about the fun they’d had and my excitement about his great day.
I praised him all the way home about how proud I was he’d had such a good day. I welcomed how wrong I was in the beginning and was so very thankful my initial thought was way, way off!
Pictured below, he is continuing to enjoy me making a BIG deal about his GOOD day.
Why was that day different and better than some? I thought back over the previous afternoon and evening (which had been a dentist appointment for another blog post). Time to analyze. What had he eaten? Oh, yes, fast food hamburgers and fries as a reward for the dentist trip. Did he sleep good that night? Yes, all indications were he had. And, did he eat anything for breakfast before leaving home that morning? No. Which is the case probably 75% of the time. Except for the trip to have his teeth cleaned, it was pretty routine.
Oh that I knew the formula for the best day ever. I would repeat it minute by minute if I possibly could. Unfortunately, I can’t make it happen again.
But, I can thank God for Jacob’s good day. And, for staff who make him comfortable, who make him feel safe enough to twirl and play, and who accept him just as he is. AND, who stop and dance when they tune in to his silent voice requesting,
Dance with me, I want to be your partner, can’t you see…..