Earlier this year, my daughter's class was doing a week on "healthy hearts," and her teachers asked if I could donate a stethoscope or two for the class. Since I am on my 5th or 6th stethoscope, it wasn't too hard to fish out the cast-offs from CindyLou's dress-up chest. The day we were to bring them in, CindyLou was sooooo excited. "My class is going to listen with *your* 'stefflstopes??' I'm so excited to be a doctor...just like mommy!" But instead of warming the cockles of my cold heart, these very words struck an odd chord of panic. I mean, what parent wouldn't beam with pride when their child wanted to follow in their footsteps, much less enter the medical profession?
Then, I paused a moment to think about what "being a doctor" really means to CindyLou. To her, mommy's work is hanging out at the nurse's station...checking out the new babies, coloring, eating crackers and suckers, and generally being fawned over by nurses, patients, and visitors alike. Or, perhaps she thinks about time in mommy's office, where SuperNurse plies her with her secret candy stash, she sits on her lap, and "works" on the computer. Being a doctor must seem a pretty sweet gig to a 4 (almost 5) year old. It also gives me hope that, for all my harried feelings about my job, they don't transfer to CindyLou; thus enabling her to feel like being a doctor is a pretty darn cool job. What ever the reason, I did feel grateful and humbled that my little girl was looking up to me, aspiring to be (despite my many foibles) "just like mommy.'