The walk-in clinic in my town is a horrible place to be. In a city of 90,000 people, there is only one walk-in clinic that sees adults. It is typical to wait anywhere from thirty minutes to around two hours, just to get into a room. It is tempting to borrow a friend's child just so I can get into the pediatric walk-in clinic.
Why the rant? Well, last Friday, I spent my evening in this lovely place. My boyfriend was feeling like hell, running a fever, and needed to see a doctor before keeling over. After arriving and checking in, a young boy came in with his mother. He had a head wound and was bleeding. They gave him: some gauze, an ice pack, and some crayons. They were informed that the wait would be around two hours.
So, the little boy settled down near a young girl and began to color. I watched the two, and became entranced at how dedicated the young girl was to her coloring. She seemed so happy, so at peace. She offered the little boy a picture to color, then quickly went back to work. After a few minutes, she stopped coloring and looked around the waiting room. I wondered if she was looking for her parents, or if something was wrong, but when she looked at me, she smiled. She stood up, walked over to me, and said, "This is for you." I looked at the picture, a pink bear, and had to smile. She smiled back and went back to her table and continued coloring.
Over the next two hours, I watched this young girl color away, offering pictures to those around the waiting room. Watching the surprise and joy on the faces of those waiting made the experience tolerable. It still amazes me at how children know what adults need even before they know they needed something.