Sunday, August 2, 2009

Little Fingers

This summer, Rivers students are embarking on a variety of interesting and challenging adventures, from doing community service abroad to attending prestigious music camps. Throughout the coming months, we will be periodically checking in with a handful of students to learn more about their experiences. Today, we hear from Emily Hoberman, who is working at the Children’s Hospital this summer.

This last week was my seventh week working at the hospital. While I am now accustomed to the conditions of the floor and have practiced and learned many techniques for holding, playing and communicating with babies and young children, I have taken the opportunity this week to fully appreciate the babies. Despite being extremely sick, the babies nonetheless smile, laugh, and can really brighten anyone’s day.

When I rock a baby to sleep or play with one in my lap, I am always amazed by how small they are. For example, when a baby’s hand latches onto one of my fingers, I can't help but notice how tiny his fingernail is, or how his hand can barely wrap itself around my thumb. Last week, while holding and comforting a three week old baby (who only weighed five pounds) for several hours, I observed how small all of his features are. My longest finger, was, for example, the length of his lower leg (his knee to the bottom of his foot) and his pinky finger was the same length as that of the nail on my thumb.

Many of the little things that the babies do are adorable. For example, when they are just about to fall asleep, either from being tired or from being sleepy from their medications, they tend to roll their eyes and gently rest their head against my chest. They almost always grab onto my hand when they fall asleep, and even when I try to move my hand or shift my body a little, they tighten their grip.

There are many long term volunteers on my floor that truly enjoy helping out with the babies. It is no wonder as the babies are really cute and need to be held and comforted a lot.

--Emily Hoberman

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