A lot of my residency has been about imagination. Every day, I reimagine comforting presence, what it means to represent God to a baby, how to talk to children about God.
The other day, a shy child smiled at my tutu so his mom wheeled him around to come say hi to me. We talked for a little bit about chaplains and feelings- how it’s ok to feel sad and part of my job is to maybe help patients and parents feel a little less sad.
When he didn’t want to talk to me any more – actually yes, in so many words- I asked him if it would be ok if I thought about him and his mom sometimes during the day, and had happy thoughts for them.
He said yes.
With the babies, I like to sing – actually I sing along to songs on my phone that I’ve picked out for them.
Somewhere over the Rainbow (Matthew Morrison/Gwyneth Paltrow cover)
Home (from the Wiz, Kristen Chenoweth cover)
Imagine (Glee cover)
Shooting Star (Owl City)
Sweet Baby James (James Taylor)
You’ve Got A Friend (James Taylor)
You’ve Got a Friend in Me (Michael Buble cover)
Happy Days Are Here Again (Chris Colfer and Leah Michelle cover)
It’s fun, it’s comforting for them and meaningful for both of us- and it’s enough. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that being present is worth a great deal.
My friend who completed the same residency last year told me when I started:
“just show up and love people, and you’ll be fine.”
Looks like he was right.