Lola had her one month appointment this week. Our pediatrician is retiring at the end of the month, so this appointment was our first well baby appointment with the new guy.
Our new pediatrician has wonderful bedside manner. He’s gentle, wise, and kind. Best of all, he speaks with grace and listens closely. He asks questions because he genuinely wants to know the answers. He’s someone who nailed it when it came to choosing a career for himself.
When Lola was born, I had to fill out a family medical history form. It was different than the one I had to fill out with Malone which just “father” and “mother.” Lola’s was an updated version. Father’s father. Father’s mother. Mother’s father. Mother’s mother.
“How are you doing?” he asked. “How are you really doing with a newborn and a preschooler?”
I was expecting that one. It is a pretty standard one here.
“I see alcoholism runs on your side,” he continued.
“Yeah, my mother was an alcoholic who’s cause of death was alcohol poisoning.” I replied.
I’ve owned this for a long time. I’m not shy about the reasons why I’m a motherless daughter.
“And what about you?” he questioned.
“I abstain unless there is a real reason to celebrate- you know like a wedding or a job promotion. Then, I enjoy a glass of champagne along with everyone else. I know it is genetic and I know I’m at risk.”
“You know, that is really wise. It truly is.” He went on. “Since we know the kids have likely have those genes too, it will be something to keep an eye on as they grow. When they are older, and if you’d like me to help you with the dialogue around that conversation from a medical point of view, I’d be happy to give you a framework. It is going to be a really important thing for them to understand when they reach their teenage years.”
Time has marched on since her death. However, that doesn’t change what was the cause of her death or how that is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. But it was the first time I really had to own my mother’s alcoholism for my kids.
I have no choice to own it.
For the record, Lola is perfect. 10.5 pounds and 22.5 inches.