If you're like I was, you likely have very little idea what one is and how amazingly helpful they can be, especially for children who have a lot of anxiety in medical situations. I wish all hospitals had them!
It was a dark and dreary day...
Actually, I don't remember what the weather was like. But, if Emma's emotions could be compared to the weather, it would be a dark and dreary day.
We were new in town, coming here from Texas to Cincinnati Children's in an effort to save Emma's life. We were sitting in a little conference room, with just a table and some chairs, finishing up a meeting with our bone marrow transplant coordinator and about to start meetings with a couple other ladies.
Emma had already had a busy day of doctor appointments, and the last thing she wanted was to be sitting in there, staring at the wall, while I talked to others about her least favorite topic - her health. Seeing that Emma was bored, and we still had a long way to go, our transplant coordinator left the room, telling us she was going to go get a craft for Emma to do while we talked.
A few minutes later, she came back with a clown. Emma and I looked at each other in surprise. I could see her eyes were bright, and she was tucking away a little smile as she watched him walked towards her.
I had no idea of the impact that this very first meeting would have on Emma, or me as her mother, or the impact it would make in her hospital experience as a whole.
After spending 45 minutes with Pauly the clown, and after learning how to hold a spinning plate on a stick, how to stand a feather on her hand, and how to toss rings back and forth, our shy little, 10 year old Emma - who never wants to be at the hospital - didn't want to leave. He invited her to a circus activity that they were having and gave me his card with their info on it.