Sunday, July 18, 2010

59. My Son, Age 6, Is Taller Than His Doctor

So we're in Colorado visiting my dad and step-mom for a couple weeks. We are enjoying the weather and the time together to do fun things like go to the park and the aquarium. Unfortunately, Tall gets ill (possibly it is just the flu, but it has dragged on for several days and he might have an ear infection) so I must take him to the doctor.

Since we do not live in Colorado, my dad calls his neighbor (who is an Orthopedic Surgeon) and asks for a recommendation for a pediatrician. Then we book our appointment.

Tall and I show up on time. The receptionist is very nice and efficient. We are shown to the examination room, where we wait patiently. Then in walks Dr. Housechurch. I stare at him. Tall stares at him. Dr. Housechurch is just about the shortest person I have ever seen who is not a midget or dwarf. He is very very little. You could probably put him in your pocket, or at least in your tote bag.

I notice Tall really looking at Dr. Housechurch carefully, studying him. Dr. Housechurch is asking all the usual questions and we are giving all the usual answers. He is very thorough and very professional and very sympathetic. He has a kind bedside manner. But he still reminds me of an elf. I can imagine him in a green hat with pointy shoes; it does not help that we saw the "Wizard of Oz" on TV last night. Oh, God, what could Tall be thinking? I know what he is thinking, but I am willing him not to say it. Don't say it! Don't say it! whatever you do, don't say it! I am sending him a mental telepathy message: TO PLEASE NOT COMMENT ON THE DOCTOR'S SIZE. Children do not intend to be rude, they are just naturally curious and inquisitive. They say things from a place of honesty, not trying to be malicious or hurtful. I am sure Dr. Housechurch has been on the receiving end of thoughtless comments his entire life; the last thing he needs is for some random patient who does not even live locally to waltz in and say some uncensored derogatory thing about his stature, which he cannot help.

Dr. Housechurch is writing out a prescription and joking around with Tall. Even though Tall is still studying him intently, I am feeling like we could be in the home stretch. Now it is time to leave. I grab my sweater and thank the doctor for his time. We are walking out, and Tall turns around and seems prepared to say something to the doctor; I brace myself for what I know is coming next.

"Dr. Housechurch? That is such an unusual name you have," Tall says simply. The nice doctor gives a genuine smile and replies, "You know, I have heard that before."

("Medicine Of Vail")

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