I have been a pediatrician for a long time. I frequently see children whom I cared for a long time ago bringing their own children into our practice. This week, that kind of inter-generational experience was taken to a new level. I was going over my electronic notes from the hospital that reflect activity of my patients at Carolinas Medical Center from the previous weekend. I saw that one of my patients had experienced severe abdominal pain and turned out to be experiencing an acute appendicitis. At the end of the Emergency Department note and operating room note I see a familiar name that I immediately recognize as one of my old patients. One of my former patients—who I had watched grow up—was performing a laparoscopic appendectomy on another one of my patients! I found this experience surreal. My impression of this young doctor/surgeon was formed and shaped by my memory of him as a young child. This note yanked me into the here and now: the present. My old patient is now making life and death decisions about my own patients!
I think this experience that I had this week is another reminder that kids turn into adults, and the more we can foster their talents and drive when they are young, the better things will be for everyone. Find your child’s interests and talents and try your best to provide them opportunities to learn and grow. That’s what parenting is all about. Keep in mind that your little person who is running around the house in diapers today may soon be a grown up with big responsibilities. Make sure they are ready.