“Daddy, is that an electric guitar?”
“Yes dear, it is.”
“It’s cool! Is it rock and roll?”
“Daddy,” she said quietly, almost conspiratorially, “don’t tell anyone but I like Bob Seger more than Taylor Swift.”
We drove toward her swim class, and Radio Disney was thankfully unavailable. I put my MP3 player on shuffle, and for once, PalKid didn’t freak out. Van Morrison, The Beatles, Carole King, Elvis Costello, Daniel Lanois, Los Lobos, Miles Davis—all sorts of music poured into the car. She didn’t like it all, but she asked all the right questions.
“Is this jazz? It sounds like jazz.”
“Well, jazz and rock and roll, they’re sort of cousins.”
“I like the girl singers. Who’s this one?”
“Her name is Norah Jones.”
“She sings so pretty, Daddy.”
We finally made it to the pool. She was, as has been her habit lately, very clingy. A broad-shouldered swim instructor with a whistle hanging from her lips like a cigarette peeled her off of me and tossed her to the young men in the water. As I walked away, she began to swim a damned good front crawl, breathing and all. I haven’t taken her to swimming in a long time. The crowd of mostly young parents was dressed in everything from t-shirts to shalwar kameez and all the kids were cute, but not as cute as my kiddo. I promised her if she comported herself well (no whining!) we would go to our favorite frozen custard place.
Thank god she did. There’s nothing like real frozen custard on a 95 degree evening, letting my daughter sit in the front seat (in park) and spin the tunes.
At home, it was time to make the beds, set up the IV, tuck in the kiddo, and that’s really about all I remember until MrsPal woke me from PalKid’s bed to flush the IV.
And medicine keeps happening. I’m finding that in general, my patients tend to listen to me more than to quacks. Daily, they offer me clippings or printouts of the latest miracle cures, asking if it’s too good to be true. Thanks to the research I do for my writing, and to the writing of others such as the crew at Science-Based Medicine (from which I’ve been sadly absent of late), I can tell them not only that it’s bunk, but exactly what kind of bunk and why. The preliminaries dealt with, we can move on to the real business of preventing and treating disease, a job that gets more fun by the day.