As a physician, I remember countless patient's details and stories, and as a medical educator I remember student's sagas, issues, and triumphs. But I have an EMR, chart-stimulated recall, notes.
At home I have an imperfect record. I remember the beautiful moments and the laughter and the
tears and the growing older as a family, but I sometimes forget which child's
nursemaid’s elbow I reduced (3 times). Which
of my 2 children used to grind teeth at night?
Which one wouldn’t let us take the band-aid off for a month after an influenza
vaccine as a toddler? I know who had the
UTI (she did) and I know who had the early --now outgrown-- milk protein
allergy (he did). And I know that she now
swims, plays guitar, and reads about as avidly as she eats macaroni and cheese.
And that he is now a drummer and a young scientist wise beyond his years. My two are so distinct from one another in many
ways, and yet I've forgotten whether it was my son or was it my daughter who erroneously
pressed 9-1-1-send on my cell phone. Come
to think of it, they both did that. Then again, even at 7 and 9 years of age they sometimes
call me "dad." And I’m okay with it. The memories meld together, and the love is shared.
Does it always matter who did what?