I recently started my “encore” career with the Clown Care Unit at Boston Children’s Hospital. It took less than a day to reconnect with the joy I get from doing this work, and it came from a little boy speaking words I could not understand.
Dr. Dazzle and I entered the playroom on one of the surgical floors, where a child-life specialist was working a jigsaw puzzle with a small boy who was in a cast from the waist down.
As we got closer he looked at us and started pointing toward me. He was babbling words I heard as “Bubba New Whale! Bubba New Whale!”
None of us knew what he was saying. In fact, we couldn’t even figure out what language he was speaking. But every so often, he’d look up from his puzzle and exclaim, “Bubba New Whale!”
When his Dad came into the room, the boy’s face lit up and he told him that I was “Bubba New Whale.”
The suspense was killing me, so I asked the father what language the boy was speaking. It was Arabic. Was being a “Bubba New Whale” a good thing or a bad rap? The Dad’s reply, with a little giggle in his voice, was simple: “Santa Claus.”
I am humbled and honored to do this job!