March Slice of Life No. 21.
It is booster shot day! Every mother knows the misery of that day. My daughter has scheduled two in one — two kids in one visit. I think she is very brave.
EM, a pink girl, almost five
EN, big brother, in first grade
Booster shots have been received.
EM, EN, and Mommy are in the van, headed home.
EM and EN are unusually quiet.
Mom is flowing with freeway traffic, glad they’ve survived the shots, glad for the quiet, glad to be heading home.
EM (from the back of the van in a high-pitched, plaintive voice with a hint of indignation): “That just really . . (sigh) . . really . . (sigh) . . really . . (sigh) . . really . . (sigh) . . really . . (sigh) . .really . . (sigh) . .really hurt (sigh).”
Mommy says nothing.
EN says nothing.
A sad quiet fills the van.
EN (breaks silence in a firm voice that isn’t to be questioned): “That was a lot of pain.”
Mommy restrains the urge to chuckle. The whooshing sounds of freeway traffic lay on top of the silence that follows.
Later the same day.
Mommy on phone with Gramma, telling her the story. Both are laughing.
Mommy: I don’t know if EN was speaking of his pain. Or of EM’s pain.
Gramma: Or maybe of their combined pain!
A week passes.
EM is with Mommy at the chiropractor’s office.
EM (looking up at doctor with her enormous winning smile): Doctor Lucky*, you the doctor who doesn’t give shots!”
*Doctor Lucky is EM’s special mispronunciation of the doctor’s name;
no corrections have been offered because everyone loves the chuckles it causes.
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