This afternoon I took my son to his summer swimming lesson and I saw Dr. N. at the side of the pool. Dr. N. is the neo-natal specialist who presided over the care of my children in the NICU for two and three months after they were born. It wasn’t a big surprise to see him because his daughter, who is a year behind my kids in school, went to the same kindergarten as Jio. We run into him occasionally.
I remember the first thing Dr. N. said to me was “Twenty-six week baby very difficult, but I will do my best,” and how I hung on his every word after that. And I remember how he would open up books for me, and make sketches, and try to speak in English so that I would understand what was going on. I remember how, the first time we went into the NICU, he reached into a bassinet and pulled out a baby. “He was less than 1,000 grams at birth,” Dr. N. said, “Look at him now.”
Today, after watching my son splash around in the water, Dr. N. said that Jio looked very healthy, and he is. I imagine that he is proud of how my son turned out, and that he is one of Dr. N.’s success stories. I wonder sometimes how he feels when he sees Lilia in her wheelchair. Does he see her as a success, too? Or does he think that maybe he made a mistake?