Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The World of Jenks and Some Good to Do

This is the hug I'm talking about...

The World of Jenks on MTV just put a smile on my face, tonight. If you haven't seen the show before, it is a documentary show that profiles extraordinary young adults through the eyes of Andrew Jenks. Jenks is a compassionate and gentle soul with tremendous empathy toward other human beings. He fully immerses himself in the another individual's life and documents their struggles and triumphs by living with them for a week. He manages to become friends with these people while capturing their lives on film over the course of a few episodes.

On this episode of Jenks he profiles Chad who just graduated high school and has Autism, D-Real, a dancer/choreographer from Urban Oakland, CA, and Kailen who moving to New York after Cancer, I love Chad's quote "Autism sucks and it's a jackass disability in my opinion". Jenks tries to help him find a job.

Today, I was fortunate enough to be part of a Mommy group that visited a retirement home. This is the second time I've done this with the group, but this is at a different facility than the first visit. I am never really sure how to interact with these random elderly folks, but my 1 year old son is pretty outgoing and I want to foster that because it's beautiful.

My son walked right up to a 97 year old elderly woman who reached out and grabbed him and started to lift him up. I was a little nervous about her straining herself, so when she didn't have the strength to lift him, I helped her pull him up to her face and hug him. They held onto each other for a log time with his face buried in her neck while I held onto him.

After we let go of his new friend, he continued to make his rounds with the elderly folk, being cute, being defiant (of me) and being fun with his friends, but we went back to that lady a few times. She let us know that being with my kid was the absolute best part of her day. At one point, I sat him in the chair next to her and he laid down on her hand, which was on the armrest and he just stayed there. He stayed there with his head on her hand for so long that I stopped him and asked if he was alright. He usually won't sit still for that long! Reflecting, it was so incredibly touching that my little guy made connection with someone almost a century older than him, today.

I really can't wait to do this again and hope that my boy continues with these Jenks-like qualities of not just connecting with people, but enriching both of their lives.

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