A few years ago, our youngest son, then 4 years old, took a nasty spill off his scooter. When I scooped him up off the sidewalk, it was immediately clear that his split chin would need stitches (#goodbyescootersforever). Dr. Dad calmly loaded the family into the minivan and we drove to his office. Never having had more than a band-aid to treat his crashes, our son didn’t know quite what to expect. He held my hand quietly, but his eyes were wide and frightened. There are many things a parent could say in such circumstances—advice on riding scooters, admonishment to not try to keep up with the older siblings, etc.—but as my husband began treating him, his voice was gentle, warm, and the epitome of a loving father caring for his precious child. Our son won’t likely remember it, but how it impacted me as a mother I will never forget.
Last week I had an errand to run and stopped by the office. My husband didn’t know I was there as he walked into a room with a patient. I only heard him say, “How are you?” before the door closed, but the distinct tone in his voice was there: gentle and warm with heartfelt concern. It brought tears to my eyes all over again, as I realized anew that his genuine care for his patients extends beyond those who are his kin. I don’t know if the patient he was treating was an adult or a child, but I know beyond a doubt that they were given the best care possible, as if they were family.