This weekend, I got to attend the 16th Annual Midwest Child Life Conference. It was my first experience at a Child Life event with Child Life people in a Child Life setting. As I was getting ready for the first morning's session, I felt a little bit like I was headed into the first day at a new school. Luckily, I've done that a few other times in my life (9, actually), so I adopted the old familiar "fake it till you make it" attitude.
I would just like to say that after two days of hearing from and being around Child Life Specialists, I have come to the conclusion that this field is full of incredibly intelligent, beautiful, compassionate, and strong women. Yes, women. The only man I saw all weekend was the tech support fellow who had to run all over the hospital getting microphones and projectors to work for us. This job is to women as fire fighting is to men.
I am both terrified and delighted at all this is going to require of me. I'm going to have to explore the tragic depths of what it means to nurture and support a child through traumatic circumstances. My daily task list could involve anything from distracting a child during a spinal tap, to facilitating a play group for kids receiving chemo, to helping parents explain to their child what their diagnoses means, to holding babies in the NICU when parents have to leave to go to work.
I've had more than one moment already where I've stopped to ask myself just who I think I am to think I could possibly handle this responsibility. I'm not sure. I don't even know if I'll get through to the end of the process. I still have to complete a practicum, then an internship, and then a certification exam before even looking for a job. But I'm excited see what happens and how I learn and grow throughout the process.
Here goes nothing.