Saturday, March 26, 2011

"I Like Pie," He Said.


He was sprawled full-length on the examination table when I walked in the room. He looked at me with an intriguing smile and a playful gleam. "I like pie," he said. That, I wasn't expecting.

I told him I liked it, too, at the same time his sister, a towheaded, adorably cute and shy five year old, turned big blue eyes on mine, then buried them in her mother's skirt.

"I like cake, too," he said.

"So do I, especially chocolate."

"Chocolate's my favorite."

If the little guy was sick, he sure could cover. Before mom could explain why they'd come to the doctor's office, my partner in conversation informed me, "But I'm better now." Why am I not surprised?

He'd been wheezing a couple of days ago and was having the same problem just about this same last year. Mm. His sister had a runny nose and had one also last spring. Sounded like seasonal allergies for her and perhaps a little bit of asthma-like symptoms for him. "I'm hungry."

"I am too, but we're not calling out for pizza," I responded, winking.

Pizza wouldn't have satisfied, anyway. What he and his sister wanted was something I could only approximate. My curiosity was approaching the outer limits of the Richter Scale, so I shot their mother's hand a quick glance. No ring. That doesn't prove anything, but the kids' father hunger can't be denied. Mom was doing a great job, but she was still mom, and they missed her other half.

Waving as they walked down the hall left me feeling I wished I'd hugged them, instead.

I'd listened to their lungs, looked in their ears, evaluated their health. I just hope I was enough of their doctor to be a little bit of a "dad," too, when they needed him.


(Creative Commons image by RachelEllen via Flickr)
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