"Dansezi cu mi-ne?" (Dance with me?) is probably one of my most used phrases here! I ask it all the time to my kids in hopes that they will want to. I have always been told that no matter, what your "thing" is, you'll find a way to use it throughout your life. Well, mine is dance and although I was sad to take a break from it during the summer, I actually have been able to find my own ways to keep those dancing feet moving. In fact, I have had some of the best dance partners this summer I could have ever asked for!
First there is my little ICU baby. He lights up when you walk in the room and I am convinced it is because before he knows it, music will be on and we're dancing. He'll hold on tight and even let me lead!
Next is one of my boys from the orphanage. He doesn't need my help, in fact, he's got his own signature moves. He gets in dancing moods where he will stop whatever he is doing and just dance. It is just precious and it gets me every time. Unfortunately, my boys would rather play with cars and throw toys at each other than dance with me, but when they get in the mood I soak it all in!
Then there is one of my favorite little girls in the hospital. She is 5 but is not able to walk because of physical handicaps. She is so sweet and sassy, but best of all, ALWAYS wants to dance with me. I guess it is no coincidence that my favoritism tends to lean towards those who are willing to deal with me. After several days of turning on music in her room and dancing around, she seemed to expect it when I came into the room and cheerfully threw up her arms for me to pick her up when I asked "Vrei muzica" (Do you want music?). She smiled and giggled more than ever and just loves to move. It makes me sad that she will probably never be able to fully move and dance on her own, but regardless it makes her so happy right now.
It is great the simple things that can bring someone up. Often when I am in a hospital room with a child without a mom, I try to make those 30 minutes or hour the most fun they can be for that kid. If that is the only time I - or anyone - get to be with them, I try to do my very best to cater to what they need or want. Luckily, what they need and want most is love which is something I can give. Sometimes it is disguised in dancing, or bubbles, or stickers, or tears, but it is always always there. Other kids from the hospital seem to be drawn to the rooms we are in. The hospital is dull, and dreary, and not an easy place to be in. When there is a little glimpse of excitement, kids flock to that and sometimes we have a whole audience just starring at us. Moms starring, nurses starring, children starring....I'm getting pretty used to it and I just think of it as good performance practicing :)
All of us have something unique to give. As interns, we all interact differently with the kids and that is part of the beauty of the work. We are all able to use our talents in different ways to try our best to bless the lives of these children. I have danced some of my favorite routines here, holding on tight to the hands of these perfect children that crave love and attention. For just a moment, they can be distracted from the heartache and struggles to enjoy thoughtless, carefree dancing. So, it turns out I didn't have to give it all up after all. Instead, I was reminded the very root reasons why I have loved dance from the beginning.