March 20, 2023

You wrap a cuff around an arm and say, “tight arm hug,” when you wish you were giving that little body a giant bear hug

You give a shot, put a smiley face band-aid on top of it, and then pull a green dinosaur out of the treasure chest. His mouth drops open, he looks down at the matching dinosaur on his t-shirt, clutches the toy to his chest, and grins. Tears still shining in his eyes, he laughs when I make a joke about the silly dinosaur.

“Silly dinosaur,” he repeats.

You wave goodbye, when you wish you could say, “It’s not your fault . . . you did nothing wrong . . . this world has been bad to you . . .”

And you shift gears to the next patient. A blood draw. I look at the order and grab my supplies.

When I walk into the room, mom looks over to me from her son’s side, and she smiles. “See,” she says, “it’s Anna Grace. She’s gonna tell you it’s ok . . .” 

I realize that, just over a week ago, I had done this for his older sibling.

He was not exactly reassured by his mom’s cheerful reaction, though. He stared at the tube and gasped: “You have to fill THAT?”

I nodded. “I promise you, though, it’s not as much as it looks like.”

Then, a few moments later, “That’s it!” I say.

“Huh? That’s it? I mean, yeah, ‘course . . . that was no big deal”

My whole body feels like it’s grinning. I love my job.

I step outside for my lunch break, my mind repeating the day’s most-used reassurances.

Tranquila. Tranquila. Hay menos dolor si no estás nerviosa . . .  ¿confías en mí? puedes confiar en mí   

Looking up to the heavens, I see a stunning contrast between the cerulean blue of the sky and the springtime-green of the expansive oak

I breathe in the beauty, and I breathe out the words,

Confio en usted.


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