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Earlier this week, my youngest son ended up in Urgent Care with what turned out to be a broken wrist. He was awesome and thankfully so was the experience at Urgent Care. Not so much for another little boy that was there at the same time. His experience reminded me of some others, and then the epiphany hit! Here’s this boy, who couldn’t have been older than four or five, with a wad of paper towels held to his forehead. He’s totally chill (likely in a little shock) and just sort of waiting for the nurse to check him out. He’s with his baby sitter, who was also chill (likely freaked out but definitely being less attentive than she should have been) and waiting for the boy’s parents to show up. The nurse comes in and starts to set up for what she’s about to see and treat, she puts her gloves on and gets a tray ready with gauze and cleansing solution and whatever else she might need. She has the boy release the paper towels and she gives an audible “Oh my!” Well that was the wrong thing to do of course, and in my opinion she needed a lesson on how to deal with children. She was young and had the nerve to say to this kid “Now don’t you cry. I have a 2-year-old and he don’t cry.” I know, you’re proud of me for not pushing my way into the room, aren’t you? I came close!! Needless to say, the kid wasn’t crying, at all. He was now holding the gauze to his head and asking all kinds of questions about what was on the tray. I thought that this kid was so brave and courageous and keeping it together. Then his parents showed up. That was it, the boy lost his shit. Don’t get me wrong, now he knew he could fall apart because his parents were there and they would provide the comfort and nurturing he needed and deserved. Sadly though, now that he was falling apart, it became a whole lot more difficult to treat him. That’s when I remembered when my middle son broke his wrist (I have three boys, it happens) and I wasn’t in town, and neither was his Dad, the sitter was in charge and she’s the best! A dear family friend, who is a doctor, came over to assess, and realized immediately that his wrist was broken and they needed the emergency room. My son was a rock, and a rock star. The family friend commented at how my son kept it together and didn’t cry once and really took the whole thing in stride. Ding ding ding!! Is it possible it had something to do with the fact that neither of his parents were there? Maybe!! I was certainly heartbroken at not being there, but my boy assured me that he was ok. Then I remembered when my Mom took me to college my freshman year. Go ‘Cuse! She was going to stay for a couple days to move me in and then head back to Miami. Suddenly, the second day there, I came down with some gastro-related illness and ultimately ended up in the health center. My mom, sensing that I was probably just really nervous, and also having a plane to catch, decided that I was in good hands and that she was leaving. Sure I was hurt and disappointed that my mother would just up and leave while I was in a strange new city with tons of people I didn’t know and not feeling well, but it was apparently the right thing to do. I was up and out of that health center, likely within an hour of her leaving, and I never looked back! I needed to be strong, brave, and courageous, and I couldn’t do that for myself while she was still tending to me. It all makes sense now. I think back to the brave boy in Urgent Care who was now a puddle of tears and anxiety, and I’m glad his parents were with him, but I suspect it might have been easier to treat him if they had conveniently waited outside for a while longer. I’m not suggesting that as parents we leave our children to fend for themselves, but it might be helpful for parents to consider that kids tend to be a whole lot tougher when they have to be. My two cents for today!

Stay well.

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