I was having a conversation with my step-son today about his work. He works in the before and after school program while he is finishing his teaching degree. One of the little kids said that she was getting a substitute teacher today. He said, “Hmm, maybe that substitute teacher would be me!” He was joking, but she took him seriously and was really excited, until he informed her that he was just joking and apologized. She was upset that her substitute teacher would not be him, because she, like all the other kids, love him. The lessons kids teach us!
In this conversation, I shared with him an experience that I had a number of years ago with a child that I, too, had been working with. If you are reading this now, my dear little friend, you will know that it is you I am talking about, even though no one else will.
This young boy was born with a few serious health challenges. Over the first few years of his life he was subjected to a number of life-saving surgeries. By the time his mother brought him to me he was doing much better, but had a lot of buried trauma from his first years. So we worked with him, then about 7 or 8 years old, to help those traumas to release.
As always, whenever I work on a child I make sure that they know that they are in complete control. That way if they are uncomfortable with anything they know that they can speak up or signal me and that this will be honored. And they can always have a parent in the room while I am working on them if they want that. They can even sit on the parent’s lap if that is more comfortable for them that being on my healing table. The thing is, whatever works for their comfort will improve the likelihood of the healing experience for them.
As I work with a child, I will speak softly with them so that they know that they are safe and cared for as we move the energy along. And sometimes, as with this little fellow, we talk about whatever interests them while we work. His mother mentioned to me in a phone call shortly after his second session with me that she had never heard him open up and talk to anyone the ways he did with me. I was quite honored to know that. He was quite the little introvert, apparently. But with me he would talk, and giggle and share stories of things going on in his life; stuff that his mom never even knew was happening.
Along the way during our sessions, the Halloween season was soon to be upon us. This was something that he brought up during the session. So I asked if he goes trick or treating. He said that this year he was going to definitely do that. I asked what he was dressing up as. He told me that he was going to dress up as his favorite super hero. His mom then asked which one that was, considering that she was going to have to buy the costume or sew it. He told her he would let her know on the way home, because it was a secret. That was so endearing! So I asked him if he would come to my house, come to the front door instead of the client entrance, and ring the bell and call out “Trick or Treat!” because that year I was actually prepared to hand out candy? He said he would do that and made his mom pledge to him that they would make the trip across town to do so. With a grin on her face, she assured him they would do that.
A week and a half later, Halloween was upon us. I was busy watching horror flicks on T.V. while handing out candy at the door for all the little trick or treaters that would come by. They were all so adorable, especially the really young ones who were in lion or bear costumes. They make you just want to squeeze their pudgy little cheeks, they are so cute! A scene or two into one of the movies, the door bell rings and I hear another, “Trick or Treat!”
I went to the door, the movie on pause, and when I opened it, there was my little boy client! I was all, “Hey! How ya doin’, buddy?!” and he stood there and smiled. His mom was grinning ear to ear. His costume, though, was not like any super hero I had ever been aware of. He was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, a vest, a crystal necklace, and a scarf over his head and tied at the back. There was also a ring on his finger with a gemstone in it. So I asked him, “So now I am curious…which super hero are you?” He smiled and said, “Don’t you recognize me?” I looked vacant, obviously, and then he said, “I am YOU, silly!”
Well, needless to say, this shaman began to cry. I got down on my knees, hugged him tight, and told him that he was now also my super hero. Then I gave him all the remaining candy in my bucket. His mom was about to protest when I said, “Oh, no, he earned it! And he can spread that out over the year.” We laughed. She was concerned that I would not have any more candy for others and I told her, “Are you kidding me? I have boxes of this stuff to refill this bucket. We get a lot of kids from the neighbourhood, but none of them, NOT ONE OF THEM, has really earned it as much as this little man just did.”
That was the best Halloween I had ever experienced up to that date.
Do I still see him? Well, he is doing really well, so honestly not as much as way back then. But every now and then he will call or email just to catch up, which I always enjoy.