Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Physical

My 12-year-old had a physical today. It went a lot differently than the one she had four years ago, before she was leaving for her first-ever overnight camp. This time, she's as tall as I am, and I would guess, is not done at 5'6". When she sits on the table in the pediatrician's exam room, she looks perfectly ridiculous, an adult in a room filled with child-sized furniture. She has come a long way in 12 years.

Today, the doctor doesn't talk about chicken pox or whooping cough or how washing your hands often will prevent you from getting sick. We talk about cervical cancer and menstrual cycles and body image. My little girl has grown up.

While the content may have changed, the ending, sadly did not. Only this time, as she sat waiting to receive five shots, I didn't have to bribe her, hold her still or wipe away any tears. I just had to buy her Coke. I guess that's a bribe. But this time I was honest (instead of saying, oh honey, these won't hurt). I told the truth. That Tetanus shot? You're gonna feel it tomorrow.

Just when I was getting used to the little kid physicals, my little girl had to get all grown up. But I like the new getting a Coke part.

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