A Cup of Critical Care

The weather’s been betraying the calendar and season until today.

Now it’s just cold, windy, raw autumn.

I realize I have my coffee mug raised in my left hand at the driver-side window as I roll down the same 10-mile stretch of Interstate that I covered to the pediatrician yesterday.

It must look like I’m begging for a java donation, refill solicitations at 75mph.

Why hasn’t Dunkin Donuts figured out how to perform mobile refueling mid-Interstate, a java driven roadway rescue?

There simply isn’t enough coffee for mornings or days like these. But I’m drinking coffee at three and six o’clock in afternoon anyway.  Who am I kidding?

I nap spontaneously at moments of sedentary silence on couch or chair. My best napping done in waiting rooms here and there.

But today, I’m cold. Numb. Tired. It’s silent in the car as I drive to a spurious appointment for my youngest, whose home a third straight day ill from ear or is it throat.

Yesterday it was my eldest, whom I took for shots.  Last week it was twice up another Interstate in the teeth of commuter traffic to see other doctors. She has as many as a neurotic septuagenarian yenta on the Upper West Side.

And they still can’t get the co-pays right!

I have had a relationship with this pediatrician for fifteen years. When I was a young – ahh, well middle aged – first-time father, he’d walk in, promptly asking “and how are you doing?” of me.  Stunned. I recall being unable to immediately answer. Shocked frankly.

However, all at once pleased, he had and always caught me off guard with his sincere attention. I’d stammer “I’m doing okaaayyyy”.

Today, he walks in, shakes my hand hello and says, “We’re getting older. We’re  turning grayer.” I remove my hat to remind him I shave my head. He says, “well at least you’re still handsome” and he turns his attention to my pre-teen.

He’s the greatest doctor since Marcus Welby.


I always walk away from his office reassured, revived, totally rejuvenated.

Hell if he can support hundreds of children and their parents with a smile and quip,  I shouldn’t whine supporting just my two, I considered as I walk out to begin another long trip to a Newport dentist for my daughter’s appointed filling.

(Thoughts turn to) there’s a Starbucks on the corner of Thames! I have a Reward!

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