Today was simply amazing and I found it incredibly rewarding! For a while now I've been working on an idea to take Bianca to Wellington hospital and deliver some craft activities to the kids on the ward.
I remember from the many many days we were in hospital with Bianca how incredibly boring it can be being stuck inside a hospital room and waiting for the hours to pass. And as a parent of a sick child at times just staying positive and focused took a lot of effort leaving you rather exhausted so that you're not always able to come up with things to keep your child entertained. And there were a number of days where our whole day would simply be brightened with a quick visit from somebody, perhaps somebody bringing something for Bianca to do, or a clown making a balloon animal and once we had a visit from the police dog unit, the SPCA and even the Armed Offender Squad! Those are some cool memories we have from those days!
Since Bianca became ill I have always felt the need to give something back. To make a difference. To help make somebody smile. And I wanted to involve my kids so that they will learn how very rewarding it can be to do something for another without expecting anything in return. That seeing a face light up, a happy smile could be the most rewarding thing!
And so this morning we set off really early. First we picked up Paul (Bianca's teacher) and of course Bianca and I thought it would be good to dress up a bit so Bianca and I were fairies and Paul (who assured us that pink probably wouldn't suit him very well) was a pirate. Bianca also wore her beads of courage!
When we arrived at the hospital we met up with Kate, the play specialist.
Bianca presented Kate with a very very special bead. Recently on the Beads of Courage Facebook group they asked us to nominate our wingman and we nominated Kate. She was right there by our side through our most difficult days. She made the journey far easier to handle and without her, I think we would have really struggled. So she was definitely our wingman! Kate, in my opinion, is the very best play specialist in New Zealand.
After our bead presentation we set off to the common area. We displayed all the craft activity kits I put together and Paul entertained the kids with his singing and guitar playing. The kids (and adults) really enjoyed it.
Bianca also walked around handing out balloons and stickers! Being a Balloon and Sticker Fairy is a very important job!
My craft activity kits seemed popular. Bianca has this really cool activity book and so I chose a few activities that looked cool and put all the items inside a bag so that all each child would have to do was put the item together and if need be decorate it. I also made a few more generic kits and had a few things for older kids. It is rather hard to judge who might be on the ward at that time. We left a whole bunch of craft items with Kate so that she will be able to share this with other kids at another time.
Bianca has a copy of this book / CD and she really enjoys it. Paul still has a few copies for sale, so if you are looking for an affordable Christmas present, make sure you contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I thought today was a great success. And very rewarding!
Edited to add:
Make sure you also visit: http://glossaryking.blogspot.com/2011/10/pirates-and-fairies.html for more photos!