Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jello and Older Friends

I wanted to call this post Jello and Old People, but I am trying very hard to retrain and restrain myself. I call them old people way too much, and one day Seren is going to call them old people in front of their faces. For the record, Mom ... I'm not talking about you and dad. :)

Every Tuesday Seren, Wyeth, and I visit a "small assisted living center." I say every Tuesday as if it is a regular and established occurrence, but nothing in our lives is regular and established. Our second visit was today. And, for the record, it's a nursing home. Actually I try not to call it a nursing home, because, as I mentioned, Seren is coming with me. I don't think there is anything wrong with calling it a nursing home, but I digress.

The three of us visit with about ten of the residents. We sit on the floor in the middle of a circle of chairs and couches. The first time I felt as if I was heading up some sort of family of traveling performers. Kind of a white Jackson Five minus three, or the Carter Family without melody, harmony, or talent. We sang, danced, and crawled around. I don't think the Carter Family crawled around.

This week was more interactive. There were still performances (Wyeth took quite a few steps in a row, Seren sang a song about fire, and I demonstrated my hair brushing prowess, which, although mostly a mirage, was quite impressive to our older female friends), but Seren also 'helped' our older friends put together her puzzles. The cutest moment came when she walked over to the only man in the group, and started taking the puzzle apart on his lap. Then she sang You Are My Sunshine to him as they worked together to put the puzzle together.

In all seriousness, I think this is a great thing for all of us. Seren asked me when we were going back, and had a whole list of things she wanted to share with her "older friends." Wyeth took more steps than he ever had, and was soaking up the attention. The residents remembered us, even the woman that usually repeats the same question over and over again. Today, not a single question was asked more than twice.

I am excited about the good start this little venture is off to, so we celebrated with Jello Jigglers. Jello with fruit floating in it, or even Aspic, might have been more appropriate. This is an intergenerational experience, however, so maybe Jigglers were the perfect celebratory dish.

1 comment:

LauraC said...

I LOVE that you are doing this with the kids. AMAZING!