Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas Kisses


I received a page on Christmas night that one of the kids at work had been in a restraint. She was upset that she was unable to visit with her family on Christmas as scheduled, and escalated to the point of endangering others.

When Ross and I entered the building, we were immediately greeted by a staff member. I then heard the familiar, "Buddy!" as one of Ross' biggest fans realized he was there. Kids poured out of every room, huddling around Ross, preventing either of us from being able to move from the entry. Ross covered the kids' faces with kisses, making them laugh and smile on Christmas night, despite being separated from their families.

Even the young girl who rarely speaks stood over Ross, gently stroking him, and stated, "He's sweet."  It was the first time I had ever heard her verbalize emotion regarding him.

As we entered the unit, Ross came upon a quiet girl sitting on the couch. They hadn't met before. Ross immediately walked over to her, sat at her feet, and rested his head in her lap. She asked questions about him while gently stroking his head. It didn't take long for Ross to start licking her hands and face, and a smile to appear.

Ross reluctantly left his new friend to visit the girl I had received the page for. She was sitting in front of her bedroom door, trying not to think about the things that had gone wrong that day. Ross gently stepped into her lap and covered her face with kisses. He sat with her, gently licking her, as she told me about how she missed her family, what had happened that day, and all the things she was worried about.

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