After a long weekend there are procedures to add to an already-busy schedule, colleagues are on summer vacation, and of course there are many “action tags” or “tasks” — or other likewise unreimbursed chores — to check off the to-do list before clicking in the pedals for a pre-dinner ride. And so it was recently.
Today, though, Jack was visiting. It was a good decision to ask Jack, our nine-year-old nephew from Hoosier-ville, to accompany me for some evening errands.
I had forgotten the unabashed curiosity of a nine year old. Nine is indeed a good age for children — a sweet spot, so to speak.
After asking me if he could have my iPhone, in a test-the-waters sort of way, Jack then asked me:
Hey, John, do you like your job?
Yes, very much.
Do you cut people open?
Is it gross?
How do you know you aren’t screwing up?
(Pause) Thinking of something smart to say, I ask:
How old are you, Jack?
It took me more years than you are old to figure it out, and even then doctors aren’t perfect, but I try really hard not to “screw up.”
Hey John, can I see your iPhone?
Thanks, Jack, for making me proud to be a doctor.
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*