Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Small Things

Tonight, I have to prepare a lecture for a group of healthcare professionals. I've known about this for nine months, yet I've put it off until the night before. Exactly 22 hours from now, I will be embarrassing myself with my unpreparedness. But I'm not thinking about isn't my professional reputation right now.

I'm thinking about Son, who is upstairs in his bedroom for the first time in two weeks. He's been sleeping with us lately. We don't know why. Tonight we decided to try him back in his room. We told each other he'd last five minutes, and we were OK with that. But five minutes passed a long time ago.

He's intermittently singing, though I can't understand the words. Every now and then I hear a knock on the door. "Mama," he calls, "where are you?" I ignore him, though it is so tempting to call back to him. He knows how to open the door, so if he really wants to come down, he will.

These small things are the challenges in my life. I know how to treat a pneumonia, how to run a code, how to track down the most elusive data using our complicated electronic medical record and how to work my patient onto the closed radiology schedule.

But how do I make my son feel safe in his own bedroom? It's a small thing, really, but aren't those the ones that perplex us? I wish being a mother were as "easy" as being a doctor.

By the way, it's now been 30 minutes. The singing and knocking have slowed down. I'm fighting the urge to open his door and look, but I know better.

After almost four years, I've learned a thing or two about being a mama, too.


  1. I'm right there with you. There are no slam-dunk diagnoses when it comes to my children. There's a whole lot of second-guessing and hand-wringing and am I ruining her for life ?

    Thankfully, their resilient and have poor memory.

  2. Um, "they're". Yes, mommy brain should be in DSM-IV.

  3. Just saw your link from FatDoctor. welcome.

  4. Y'all sound like a group I could relate to - a few years back. My hubby and I made-up the diagnosis PIB'd when we began our family. Stands for pregnancy-induced-brain damage. Affects both parents equally. Lasts beyond childbirth.

    If you happen to work with any parents of children with ongoing medical problems, er, chronic, or commonly said to be 'disabled', and those parents happen to read blogs, consider referring them to mine. Barbara

  5. I remember those days so well, though my son usually went to bed, just wouldn't stay there once I was in mine. Nowadays I can't get that 17 year old out of his room, unless it is to raid the fridge or go out with his mates.

    My advice, keep at it, though it is hard and they are soooo squidgy and cuddly but as parents we know we have to get them to sleep on their own.


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