Wednesday, November 15th 2017
Q: What do you call a deer with no eyes?
A: Dr. Be Bopper learning to clown!
Today was my fifth day clowning at Boston Children’s Hospital in a week. And since it’s still only my 3rd week at this job, almost every day has been with a new partner. Each partner is a whole lamborghini box of chocolates jalopy clown car unto theirself. Learning the style of my partners, their repertoires, their decision making styles, their humor and performing inclinations is a dizzying undertaking, much less discovering MY clown; how I can be in these situations, what’s needed, what we’re doing, what I can do, what might be funny and what the freaking heck song I can play next.
So I muddle through, scouring the scenes for ways I can connect, cheer or make a difference, slowly learning to feel more comfortable in my own clown skin. So far I find it most gratifying when we come upon a situation and inspire a *change* in energy for the better. What I have found recently though is just incredibly awesome kids and their amazing parents. Plenty of good, fun, silly, sweet or poignant times… but when I leave their rooms it is ME who has benefited from THEM.
There is a girl -I’ll call her Michaela- whose 7th birthday is today. I’ve had the privilege of seeing her three times in the past week, including today. She has so much going on medically I have never seen her out of her bed and it takes extra effort for her to speak, yet I have never seen her without the most sparkly smile on her face, radiating an aura of sweetness and joy. She is pure angel incarnate, yet with a spunky personality and adorable sense of humor. I just feel grateful that my partner & I were able to squeeze in a visit to her today (even though her floor was not on our schedule) and to give her plenty of shout outs from the in-house TV studio where we hosted “CLOWN BINGO.” The patients come play live in studio or by TV from their rooms. When they win they call down to the studio to claim their prizes and woo-hoo we announce them on the air.
Maybe I don’t have anything too profound to say about today except that I’m just happy to have been a part of Michaela’s birthday. She knows me now and I sing songs to her. Her family is amazing and I’ve never seen a more joyous explosion of balloons and celebration in a hospital room. AND she won at Clown Bingo. TWICE.