Last day of Internship for fall term today!  I love all of the elderly people here at the continuing care community (yes, even the ones who definitely do not love me back), but I'm a little pooped.  A little worn.  A little looking forward to a couple of weeks off.

But today was Big Adventure Day here at the home.  Today, Mr. Smith (right, you guessed it - not his real name) and I had big plans to find every Christmas Tree in this place.  And this is a big, 27 acre place.  Mr. Smith is frail - exemplifying the frailest of the frail, "old-old" that we have.  With his tiny little head, his wispy white hair, and his big brown eyes, it wasn't hard - no, not at all - for him to convince me on this slow Friday that we needed to go (and he whispers this conspiratorially) "cause some trouble."  Sometimes I think if I breathe too forcefully I will knock him right out of his chair.  What he loses in mass, however, he makes up with wit.

And this social worker said, "Lead the way."

Which is all the permission Mr. Smith needed, if he needed any permission at all.  Off he zoomed (literally - I literally cannot keep up with him when he's in the mood to cause mischief) to the elevators.  "Down to 2!" he commanded, his finger held high in the air.  "Up to 4!" 

And find the trees, we did.  As we rolled up to the first, Mr. Smith craned his head carefully towards me and said, "The first thing we do, is look to see if Santa has been here yet ...."

"And if he hasn't," I countered slowly .... "does that mean we're too early ... or that we've been a little naughty?"

"It's a combination of both!" Mr. Smith explained wisely.

 On the 3rd floor, we encountered a tree decorated exclusively with blue decorations and blue lights and Mr. Smith very purposefully puckered his lips and shook his head.  "Gaudy," he declared.  "Just awful."

But we aren't just professional Christmas Tree critics.  No.  We're also employee appreciation event crashers.  We passed by the open banquet room that was set with trays and trays of food and I said, "Mr. Smith?  What's going on in here?  Should we infiltrate?"

And I was almost knocked over by the wind force of his chair rushing by.  As we were leaving, cookies in hand, several of his friends passed by and he casually, coolly told them, "We're party crashers."   As in, no biggie - We do this all the time - It's not even a party until we crash it.

We also encountered a children's choir in a separate building and crashed that too.  "That energy," Mr. Smith said.  "If we could only bottle it up."

By the time we had seen 5 trees and crashed 2 parties, Mr. Smith was starting to feel a little winded.  "Better head back," he said.  "Need to get in my comfy chair."  So we did.  And on the way, almost took out a lady with a walker, a large, plastic Rubbermaid garbage can, and a mop bucket and a custodian.  I think Mr. Smith's depth perception is a little off.  Or maybe the trouble happens because his chair is set so fast it shakes when he goes top speed.  I might need to talk to him about "turtling" it down a little. 

On the last elevator on the way back to his room, this social worker said, "Mr. Smith, how did you get so very good at causing so much good natured mischief?"

"The key," he said, raising those big brown eyes to me, "is to find a good partner in crime.  It's your free pass."

Happy Holidays, Mr. Smith.   May they be filled with all the non-blue holiday merriment you can muster.

{This encounter did not take place during session and the client's name and identifying information have been changed.  However, I cannot guarantee that it did not have some therapeutic benefit.  O, wait.  The therapeutic benefit was mine... ;)  }

1 Comment

  1. AandW Drive-Thru on December 23, 2010 at 9:29 PM

    simply lovely... everyone needs the chance to crash a party or two... and Mr. Smith seems like the perfect co-conspirator!


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