Wednesday, July 02, 2008

goodbye, hello

Not to make this seem like some sort of but-everything-turned-out-OK coda to the entry from yesterday, but...Cal did great last night.  He was happy and chatty as always, actually requested bathtime at my parent's house (despite the change in locale from his usual), and happily tucked himself into bed at the end of it all.  Kids are so weird.  That said, I wish I were three again.  Life is easier when you're three.

The transition is a little more traumatic in some ways for the adults, I reckon (note: SOUTHERN TALK), despite the wider perspective and the fact that we can rationalize the reasons for difficult changes.  Joe told me that he was taking out some last vestiges of house-moving detritus yesterday evening, among them Cal's retired crib mobile, which has a broken motor.  While he was wheeling the stuff down to ground level in our old lady cart, Joe accidentally activated the base of the mobile (which plays music), and the sound of that crib music actually got him little teary.  Or at least I got a little teary when I heard the story.  A lot of nice memories in that house of Cal (and Cooper) growing up.  It's hard to leave.

Thanks for all the comments, by the way, and I do mean all of them.  I respect and appreciate all the different points of view.  I by no means purport to be an expert in The Ways of Children, but at this point, at least until he hits puberty and starts getting all secretive, I think I am sort of an expert in my child, and you know, I think he's going to do great.  There is an instinct to want to shield your kid, especially your first, from all the world's hurts, and in the big scheme of his short, thankfully uneventful life, this move is a pretty huge event, and all I want to make it as smooth and easy for Cal as possible.  This does not mean pre-chewing his food for him or covering him with bubble wrap, but it does mean making sure that he is not exposed to more than I think he can reasonably understand, and taking measures to ensure that he is out of the way when five burly guys are lifting heavy furniture overhead and pushing hundreds of pounds of boxes on poorly-balanced dollies.  Probably the next time we move, Cal will be five and we will approach things differently then.  (For example, perhaps he can actually help us pack up his stuff.  PLEASE LET HIM BE OLD ENOUGH TO HELP PACK.  Best case scenario, he can drive the moving van.)  But for right now, he's doing an admirable job of rolling with the punches.  Better than his parents, anyway.

*          *          *

The new first-year anesthesia residents started yesterday.  I believe the first day is usually purely administrative, but the second day starts their training in the ORs, and it is (RECURRING THEME!) a difficult transition for everyone.  The quantum leap from being a second-year to a third-year resident for the new seniors, the loss of the most experienced residents from the work pool for the attendings (means more oversight required and more fretting for everyone), and of course the switch into a completely different field for the incoming first-years.  

Some of the scariest moments of my medical career I remember from my first few months as an anesthesia resident.  Of course now, in retrospect, it's hard to remember how I could possibly be scared about some of the things that freaked me, but it's not difficult to remember that feeling of being pushed so completely out of my comfort zone and expected to take a lot of responsibility despite the fact that I didn't feel confident at all in my role or abilities.  I think medicine makes you feel like that all the time.  I'm sure I'll feel like that again in a month, when I start my new job.  

Good luck, new gas-passers.  You're going to be awesome, and even though I know you don't believe me, these next few years are going to pass by before you even realize it.  I wouldn't have believed it either, but somehow, I blinked, and the next thing I knew, they were handing me this thing: