Working as the night psych at the nut hut can have its moments when I question my career choice. To say I have earned my stripes is an understatement to say the least. I am not able to go into too much detail due to client privacy, but believe me, the things I have witnessed deserve their own reality tv show.  The unit I work on has kids who have been residents for at least 2 years and many have been there for 4 or more. Basically, this is their home. The kids aren't able to spend holidays, birthdays, or even summers with their families as it will interrupt their treatment. Many times it is their home environment which is the VERY reason why they are placed with us. But I digress..

The other night I was asked to decorate this door of one of the clients as it would be his birthday when he woke up. I had a ton of paperwork to do and was pretty cranky that night as I was completing an 18 hour work day/night. I grabbed the box of decorations and made my way down to his room. As I was hanging streamers and balancing on a chair to tape this stuff up, I was grumbling to myself. I was upset the task of decorating the door was mine when there were OTHER people who had less work to do that could have performed this task. I believe I actually said out loud "College and graduate education $37,000.00 being a decorator at the nut hut.. priceless".. Either way. I blew up balloons and hung festive decorations to the best of my ability and went back to my paperwork. The next day I had completely forgotten about decorating the client's door.  When I got to work (I work from about 10pm to 7am) the client had stayed up to talk to me. This is a big deal because usually the kids have long been asleep by my arrival. He asked if he could hug me and then professed how happy he was that I decorated his door. I was taken aback. In my world a few balloons and streamers isn't such a big deal. He informed me it had been over 6 years since anyone has done anything for his birthday. I was so humbled. In that moment I was ashamed of how salty I had been over doing a simple, yet obviously important task. I told him it was my pleasure and wished him a happy birthday. Later that night I found a box of chocolate covered pretzels in my bag. I attached a note and left them on the dresser for him. It may not have been the most pricy of gifts, but in his case I know it was completely appreciated. It might have been his birthday, but I was the one who got a gift. It was priceless and I am very thankful for it. The little things mean a whole hell of a lot. As this holiday season rolls on, I am going to focus on doing little things rather than showy large ones. After all. They are the most memorable.

Comments (2)

On December 9, 2009 at 5:38 PM , Ari said...

Awww that's so nice to hear!! :)

 
On December 12, 2009 at 11:48 PM , Wicked Bitch, Latina Fatale said...

You rock. So many people have just been throw away kids or adults and things like this mean a lot to them