I stopped by my parents’ house last night after work for dinner with family. As I walked in the door, wearing my ceil blue work scrubs, all the kiddos came running over to give me hugs. Josiah, my three-year-old nephew stepped back from his hug and looked me up and down quizzically, confused by my outfit. “What are you?” he asked. I explained that I had just came from work and that I am a nurse. That satisfied him for the moment.
Later that evening, as I stood in the bathroom flossing my teeth, we had a conversation about what nurses do. “Nurses help kids that are sick,” I said.
“At the doctor’s?” Josiah asked.
“I work at the hospital,” I told him, “And yes, I work with many doctors. I take care of sick kids and help them to feel better.” That all seemed to make sense to him.
“Do you member when I was sick?” Josiah asked me. “When I was sick with the green pants?”
“No, I don’t,” I said, a little confused.
“Do you remember when I was sick and I had the green pants and Mom threw them away and I wanted them?” Josiah was adamant that I should remember this event.
“No, I don’t. I wasn’t there,” I explained. “Why did Mom throw them away? Were they too small?”
“No they still fit. And I wanted them. But I threw up on them and she threw them away,” he reported wistfully, as if the green pants meant all the world to him and he missed them sorely.
We talked about why his mom had needed to throw them away, and he seemed to understand.
“And, well, if you had thrown up on them I would’ve probably thrown them way too.” I told him. But then on another note I had to ask, “Okay, Josiah, can you step out for a minute? I need to go to the bathroom.”
He nodded at me understandingly, “Oh yeah. Nurses have to go to the bathroom too.”