Welcoming Committee

Joshua should be a doorman or have a role in hospitality in the future. For the second time, he visited his Granny in hospital yesterday and this time we were there for over an hour and once again, he excelled himself. This time we took Joshua’s Dad with us and he tends to lean on my husband when he holds both of our hands, so as we left the car he was walking badly. I asked my husband to let go of his hand, so that he had his left hand free for waving. Sure enough, when just holding onto me, he began to wave every patient, nurse and visitor that we passed on the way to the ward.

He was excited to see his Granny but she was in bed this time, so he sat on a chair next to her bed. He tried to catch everyone’s eye on the ward, to give them a cheery wave – mostly the nurses were too busy to notice but he was persistent and eventually it paid off. He found the ward telephone and pretended to make a few calls then he tucked into Mum’s satsumas and grapes, while his Dad ate her biscuits. He was not restless, but he settled into the role of hospital visitor and was good as gold. he only needed to watch one of his iPad movies after 45 minutes and he tried to muscle in on Granny’s bed, to get himself more comfortable! But she stood her ground, and he perched on the end of her bed.

As we decided to leave the ward, because Mum had had enough rather than Joshua, Joshua gave her a wave and tapped his chest at her, indicating that he loves her. Then as we walked out, he waved at every single bed in the ward; he got a few waves in return, mostly from visitors but one other from the patient in the bed next to Mum. It felt to me as though he was spreading some of his special magic and sunshine amongst these poorly elderly ladies. He knows how it feels to be stuck in a hospital bed and so he seemed to be showing empathy with them and was trying to show encouragement. His waving continued from the ward, all the way back to the car and I saw the smiles that he brought to most people’s faces, which in turn, made me smile. What a gift that is that Joshua possesses. I know that I aim to make people smile when I meet them too, but he seemed to have a great knack that generated a smile, without him saying anything and it definitely takes me a bit longer. I am sure that he has found his calling.

When you’re smiling

It was a long day yesterday : I left work early to drive to school as I had a Governors meeting at 5,which finished by 8pm. But the long -standing Chair was retiring and so we went onto the pub for drinks and something to eat so it was 10pm before I got home – that is my usual bedtime! My husband was in the bath so I went to talk to him and tell him about my day and find out about his, when we heard Joshua on the landing trying to join us. I went to find him and he gave me the biggest smile ever, he was visibly delighted to have me home. Then I was treated to one of his bear hugs as I took him back to his bed. I lay next to him for a short while, reassuring him that I was home and enjoying his hugs and feeling him relax then start to snore.

We came downstairs for a cup of tea before bed and of course, now that he knew I was home, Joshua made two more attempts to join us. He may not be able to speak but Joshua made his feelings perfectly well known last night : I was both loved and missed. The smile is a powerful tool as it can express love, happiness and it can even brighten a stranger’s day. I often get some very odd looks on the tube train in London for smiling at strangers, as that is a rare phenomenon there! I know that I try hard to make people smile, through both my words and my baking – I took lemon drizzle cake to the Governors’ meeting and made enough to share at work too! When I am feeling low, it is my smile that I miss. I can still force a grin but I lose the smile in my eyes somehow. I can tell the difference but I am not sure how many people around me notice, just those who know me well I hope. But Joshua’s smiles come from the heart, he does not have the ability or understanding to force a smile, so they are all genuine and they are all special.