Monday, February 10, 2014

Messages from the Universe

Its one of the reasons why I’ve stayed in pediatrics 
for so long –
so many of the kids I work 
with have delightfully few filters.

While you might have to interact with them for a while 
to build rapport and let them see you are, in fact, 
someone who’s genuinely interested in what they have to say, 
once they know they have a receptive ear 
and an open heart – 
all bets are off.

She was 6.
We had been talking about the details 
of her sexual assault 
by someone at her school.

She didn’t know his name 
but he was an adult she saw every day.
When she was asked to describe him, 
she looked me in the eye and said 
“He’s old, like you and he has white hair, like you”.

She paused, clearly picturing him in her mind. 
I asked, anything else you can tell me?
She said “yeah, he’s light skinned like you 
and he has a white beard”…
and, hand to God, 
if she had said ‘like you’, 
I’m not sure I wouldn’t have pushed her off her chair!

I know, I know;
even thinking that 
shows how much this sister 
needs to retire!

My dogs escaped from the yard 
in the midst of yet one more snow storm 
while I was shoveling the driveway.

I drove all over town, 
risking life and limb on unplowed streets, 
calling for them, 
telling anyone who was out shoveling 
or walking by in the winter splendor 
about the escapees.

One came home on her own – 
the oldest, fastest and (truth be told) the brightest.
A knock on my door, 
2 hours later, 
told me the youngest was ‘corralled 
in a Good Samaritans yard one block over.

I got back in the car 
and went to rescue my panting 
but totally unrepentant puppy 
who was delighted to see me 
and eager to get home.
But as I put her collar on
and stood on her rescuers steps, 
chatting and profusely thanking them 
for taking the time to get her safely restrained,
she decided she’d had enough outdoors adventure.

She made a beeline for the car – 
so warm, inviting and so close – 
and, as she did, 
I was jerked backward off the steps 
and, due to the velocity of her pull and my momentum, 
went ass over elbow, 
doing a backward somersault 
and, surprisingly landing on my two feet.

I can’t say I ‘stuck’ the landing, 
in Olympic parlance, 
but there was only a tiny bobble.

With shocked looks on their faces, 
the Good Samaritan and his wife rushed to my side,
no doubt
ruing the day they took in this damn dog
and the wife blurted out, 
“OMG, are you OK?; that was pretty impressive. 
You’re pretty agile for an old lady” 

OK – I get it; 
I’m not as young as I used to be!

I love honesty – 
but I love it even more 
when all the reality checks in a day 
aren’t about me!

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