The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Monday, July 13, 2009]

Count Your Blessings

At the surgery center at Johns Hopkins today, I was waiting for an elevator with a little boy and his mother. The boy was about 5 years old, and his mother was pushing him in a wheelchair. He was a cute little guy with a buzz cut, wearing a hospital gown. He had a bag of fluids hanging above him. Hardly unusual... everyone down there has a bag of fluids hanging nearby. He was holding a post-surgery goody bag (as was I), and he was talking to his mother about the painting on the wall. It was an abstract rendition of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. He energetically argued with his mother that he could see water in the painting, and mom wearily argued back that there wasn't water on the wall, it was called art.

The little boy noticed a sticker on his IV tubing and asked his mother why it was on there. Mom told him that it was to tell the nurses when it was last changed. He pointed out, "They don't do that upstairs." Mom said yeah, well, I guess they follow the rules down here. The boy was satisfied with that. Then he said, "How much is left of the chemo?" Mom said it's not chemo, it's just fluids. "Oh, just fluids? OK." Five years old and he not only knows what fluids are, he knows what chemo is.


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