I was going to edit some pictures of the projects I did using the Flower Shoppe cartridge and get one of them posted today but I decided to wait and write about this instead...
I have a a client base at a residential facilty for people who are developmentally delayed and have been going there for over two years now to see clients. I always enjoy my days there and make sure to take time and talk to residents who aren't my clients. It's always nice to walk in the workshop and hear several voices calling my name excited to tell me their latest news, whether it is they got a letter from dad with $10 in it, if they got a phone call from their brother, if they get to go into town and go shopping on the weekend or even if it is just for them to say hi and ask how I am doing.
Yesterday I had gotten one of my clients, who has the sweetest nature and disposition you can ever imagine, and asked if she wanted to walk "the circle". "The Circle" is a sidewalk that goes around the inside of the campus and links to each cottage on the campus. She was very eager to go outside and walk after being "rained in" all day. She quickly began telling me how she had stood up for herself and made a decision to break up with her boyfriend and get a new boyfriend who "is nicer to me". I was praising her about her good work when all the sudden she says "OH! There is a grasshopper!". She moved quickly to catch the grasshopper and cradled it in her hand. She spoke softly to the grasshopper and asked him "do you want to take a walk with us?" We walked further talking and she would make comments to the grasshopper occasionally asking such things as if he was enjoying the walk, if he was comfortable and was he enjoying the beautiful day after all the rain. I kept reassuring her what a wonderful job she did on being assertive and how I was so proud of her. She smiled sweetly at me and said she was proud of herself.
At one point I looked at her hand and noticed the grasshopper was just sitting calmly on her thumb, not moving, not trying to jump away, but instead like he was just listening to our conversation and very aware of the fact that she was just trying to take him on a little walk. We discussed some of the past issues she had about letting others "take advantage" of her and how she doesn't want to do that anymore. She looked up me and said "you know what?" and I smiled back at her and said "no I don't know". She suddenly had a very serious look on her face and said "I feel safe now. I feel like I can stand up to people and they listen to me". I told her "That is because you have become a stronger person now". With her free hand she grabbed my hand and made me stop, she looked up at me and said "Thank you. You have helped me become a strong person". Of course I smiled at her and let her know she had done the work, that I was just a tool for her to build herself stronger.
She let go of my hand and we continued to walk and talk until we got closer to the building where she works. Suddenly she stopped for a moment and bent over and told the grasshopper "Okay it's time for you to go now. I hope you enjoyed your walk with us Mr. Grasshopper". I told her "oh I am sure he enjoyed it since he didn't ever try to run off". We finished the last little bit of our walk just chit chatting about her work assignment and how she has the right to make the decision where she works, me always reassuring her that she was in charge of her life and her choices. As we got back to the door she just simply said "okay I gotta get back to work now but I will see you at group tomorrow, right?" I told her we would indeed have group tomorrow and then I was off to get my next client.
On my drive home I got to thinking about this client of mine and how joyous the simple things in life are to her. How taking a grasshopper for a walk gives her joy, how learning to stand up for herself and be assertive with others gives her such a sense of pride and it made me think of how to be thankful for the little things in my life. Sometimes I think we get so involved in the materialistic belongings, hustle and bustle of family affairs, stress of our jobs, etc. that we forget we indeed have small things in our lives to enjoy and for which to be thankful. Maybe we all need to learn to take a grasshopper for a walk every now and then, thinking about how wonderfully blessed we are and be thankful for every little thing!