Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The nicest people in the world

Sadly, I am not one of them.

But you know those people - the ones that are just so nice and kind and generous with their time, money, career, etc.? Those of us who don't fit into that mold tend to wonder if it is for real. Well it is. Because no one not genuine could maintain that facade for long, I am convinced.

My ob is one of those people. I, on a rare occasion, have seen glints of frustration as he has come from another room containing a "wimpy" patient. But 99.5% of the time that I have known him, nicest person

I see these women walk into his office, hugely pregnant, finishing the last drag on their cigarette outside before setting foot in the office (but hovering with the door open), hauling their strung out looking boyfriends/husbands who are wearing pajama pants with them, cussing up a storm. And I cringe.

And then I hear him in the room with them next door, full of compassion and kindness. And I feel guilty.

I couldn't do that. I know a little about his history from the occasional friendship we have forged outside of the office. His passion in life is treating not women like me (educated, able to support ourselves), but poverty level women with few options in life. In addition to his MD, he has a Masters in Public Health and has a keen understanding of how the care (or lack of) a woman receives in her doctor's office translates to her acceptance in social situations and her ability to raise her family. He hopes to retire from his practice soon (has scaled it back to 2 days a week in the office presently) and move to Central America and practice medicine among the third world inhabitants there.

I wanted to go to medical school once. And each time I have been in a hospital be it for birthing my kids or having my gall bladder out I have wistfully wondered what it would be like to be a physician and have longed for that experience of walking through the halls of a hospital. I wanted to be a nurse until I was about 5 when my nurse grandmother said, "you don't want to be a nurse, you want to be a doctor!"

I had a stint in there where I wanted to be an astronaut. Then a teacher. But for the vast majority of my school life I wanted to be a doctor. I scored very average on the MCAT. I worked in a doctor's office for 5 years. I had an "in" to the local med school through my college employer (a dermatologist) who was also a professor at the medical school one half day a week.

Then I dumped it all and went to grad school.

I wanted to be a plastic surgeon actually. While in college I would fill in with one of my doctor's good friends when he was short staffed in his Reconstructive Surgery office. I loved it. But wow it seemed like a long haul. Medical School, Surgical Residency, Plastic Surgery Residency...

I told AB about how I noted that I just did not have what it took to do what my ob does every day. See these women and be compassionate about their situation, when I would really just want to slap them upside the head. I would be the most frustrated person around.

"But you would have never gone into obstetrics," AB said the other night. "You would so be spending your days doing boob jobs intermingled with the occasional pro bono case! You would still have your wackos to deal with, they would just be different wackos."

He is right. It's dang good I went into research and not medicine because I do not regularly have to work with wackos at all this way.

And it isn't just in medicine where you find these nicest people ever. I truly have some of the nicest friends ever. And I wonder what it would take - how they do it? If they don't have that same voice in their head that I do?

Well, I guess it is something for me to work on.

After I birth this baby, because right now it just isn't in me!

Friday, March 22, 2013

All the "holiday" flap

A few of my Facebook friends have recently posted links to blog posts with titles like "Can we tone down the holidays, please?" and other things of that nature.

It's March, Easter is coming up, if you don't have kids in school you may wonder what the big deal is. So here it is... St. Patrick's Day. Once a day when you just made sure your child (ok me, I was that age) wore green when they walked out of the house so they don't get pinched? Now a holiday. Not a holiday in that kids are out of school, but a big celebration with green food, Leprechaun trap building, etc. Then there are the complaints of what some kids are handing out for Valentine's Day - fancy little bags of goodies instead of just a card. Take it back another few weeks to Christmas and everyone points to the "creepy" new tradition of Elf on the Shelf. Some have even started complaining about Advent calendars - which are not a new thing and I loved mine as a kid.

Well I have already blogged about the supposed "creepy" Elf on the Shelf. Basically we bought it and love it and don't find it creepy - which seems to be the key word people use who don't buy in. "It's creepy."

I am a big fan of holidays. Love them. In today's day and age with so much crummy news and things we need to shelter our kids from, I am all for embracing the fun and frivolty of a handful of days a year to celebrate random things.

We aren't really Irish, though the red hair tricks many. More Scandinavian and my red hair (hence my kids' as well) comes from my Swedish grandmother. But St. Patty's day? It's a hit here. The kids love corned beef, which I fix once a year on March 17th. They love building leprechaun traps and they get more elaborate every year. This year my son's was rigged with motion sensors - making things pretty interesting...

Fun. It's all it is.

We pick and choose with holidays. I get tired of all the freaking candy at holidays and my personal annoyance is when every holiday becomes a gift giving occasion. My kids get "presents" on their birthdays and Christmas. For Easter they will get small little things I don't think of as presents out of the dollar bins in their baskets - chalk, jump rope, a stuffed rabbit (for Skadi). For Valentine's Day, my daughter got a pink teddy bear, because she loves that stuff (and her chocolates still sit untouched). I don't have time to spend hours working on Valentine's, so my kids picked out the ones with a card and a piece of candy attached. And so far - neither the nearly 6 year old or 8 year old has complained at all. I like to think they know better.

Back to my point... the blog posts asking to scale back the holidays.

You don't like it? Don't do it! Quit succumbing to parental peer pressure and the assumption that if it is posted on Pinterest that "everyone" else is doing it and your child will feel left out if they don't have baggies of rainbow licorice and gold coins for St. Patty's Day. Your kids will deal.

St. Patty's day? I cooked dinner. My kids built their traps themselves (ok, dad couldn't resist in helping Skadi incorporate her ceiling fan into hers) as they have been doing since they were 3 years old in preschool with access to paper and tape. And that was that.

And you know what, if my children EVER complained that they don't get to do all the stuff their friends do they will get a stern lecture.

My son at chess club (over Christmas) told one of his friends about the underwear episode with our Elf, Mina. (Mina decorated the untrimmed tree with his underwear.) The boy told his mom in my presence and she looked at me, rolled her eyes (not in a horrible way, we have been acquainted for 1.5 years now through the boys) and said, "oh you are one of THOSE moms."

Yes, I am one of those moms who loves to have fun and do silly things with my kids that make them laugh and adds to their magic of the holidays. That when they are 28 will look back and laugh and say to me, "mom, do you remember when you, I mean the Elf, decorated the tree with my underwear?"

Yep, I am one of those moms.