It was a typical Thursday afternoon. My son and I were in the car, driving home after I picked him up from school. As usual, our conversation focused on the highlights of his day. Here’s what happened:
Bear: Today, I got to write in my journal about what I want to be when I grow up.
Me: That’s great buddy! What did you write about? (I asked this knowing that my son loves dinosaurs. In his kindergarten graduation program, he said he wanted to be a paleontologist).
Bear: I wrote that I want to be an orthopedic doctor.
Me: Really? Why is that?
Bear: I want to put medicine needles in people’s arms, like Nurse Jessie does, so I can help people feel better. Especially people with Rheumatoid Arthritis, like you.
I was speechless. Tears welled up in my eyes. When I pulled myself together, we talked a lot about what it means to be a doctor, and the importance of making a difference in the world. My son learned this lesson on his own, just from observing my daily struggles with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The moment was a reminder of our interconnectedness. An illustration of the powerful impact our everyday words and actions have on others, especially children finding their place in the world.