One reason I enjoy working with people is the small joys they bring to my life. This often happens by people just being themselves. I remember a story my fellow music therapy intern, Kas, told me about one of our residents when we were interns. This endearing woman, 104 at the time if I remember correctly, was quirky with her sense of humor. Kas was working with her one day and said, "Oh, I think it's time to go to dinner."
This sweet woman replied, "Oh good! I'm so hungry I could eat a raw dog!"
I still laugh about that a decade later...and I get strange looks every time I say it out of context. Guess it sounds different coming from me!
Today I had another one of those experiences. Simple things that brighten my day.
Keep in mind I am currently working as a teacher of the visually impaired. Often times this means the kids I work with have more going on than just the visual impairment.
In one of my classrooms, I see two students, a boy and a girl. The boy I am working with has developmental issues as well as his visual impairment. He's a bit of a character without trying to be. I've told his teacher on more than one occasion that I can envision this boy in about 60 years, telling stories in a rocking chair on the back porch. His Southern accent and way of phrasing things is well suited to this future vision I have. For example, he might say something like "I told him to put that in the garbage. I did. I told him."
He will also repeat phrases he has heard, or snipets of things that have happened around him. Last week, one of the phrases he kept repeating was, "They put it in the back of the truck." When I asked him what they put in the back of the truck, often he would repeat, "They put it in the back of the truck." Occasionally when I would press him to discover what he was referring to, he'd pause, as if trying to locate the information I was asking for, and then finally say, "They put it in the back of the truck. They did!"
I jokingly mentioned to his teacher and para educator that I was going to lose sleep over not knowing what they put in the back of the truck.
Today, I started by working with the girl, who sits on one side of the classroom (the boy sits on the other side of the classroom).
The boy noticed I was there and was interacting with me...exchanging a few words here and there while I was working with the girl.
When I moved my chair over to his table to start working with him, the first thing he said to me was, "They put it in the back of the truck."
I laughed, heartily!
People are sometimes confused when I tell them that music therapists (and TVI's) get excited about small things. When one of my students with severe speech delays said my name (after a year), I was glowing for months!
Today, I told this particular student that he made my day.
But I still don't know what they put in the back of the truck!