|Blogs > rm_tuttle > Square Pegs in Round Holes|
Doctor. Tell me the truth.
Doctor. Tell me the truth.
Exhausted but joyful she buried herself in the hospital bed and clasped her new-born boy in her arms. Naked and unselfconscious she looked up and beamed. The proud father perched beside her and stroked whisps of black hair clinging to the baby's scalp. They looked momentarily into each other's eyes and found a meaning that had been missing for some time.
A white-coated doctor approached the end of the bed. For a second he paused to admire the bonded trio before him; a united circle that even red indians couldn't penetrate. "By all measurements, he's a very healthy young man." The doctor calmly spoke with a hint of a smile. He picked up the clipboard attached to the bedpost but didn't bother to read it. "However..." He paused portentously. "...I do have some bad news." The parents look at each other, startled by the sudden change of tenor. They stopped breathing.
The doctor continued with a consistent soft charm. "I'm afraid your baby is dying." Silence turned to disbelief. "We have no idea how long he'll be with us, but I'm afraid this type of birth inevitably ends in death."
Half floored and desolate, neither parent could think of an appropriate question. The father felt a pang of anger or protectiveness and was jolted by this, "What the fuck are you talking about?! What's wrong?" he gasped. "You just said he was perfectly healthy."
"I know" said the doctor, "but death is an inevitable side-effect of birth. You ask me what's wrong? Well, he's alive. The act of conception is a death sentence. Did you not think of that before you got started on this journey? You've just condemned this young man to death. You may think this an unnecessary observation at a joyous time. But always remember: when he grows and matures he will be drawn to things that are instantly pleasurable but unhealthy in the long term - drugs, alcohol or extreme activities. If you criticise him for short term pleasures at the expense of long term vision, you are hypocrites. In your eagerness to give birth and be parents, you have condemned someone to death in the long run. This is a short term selfishness, the consequences of which you choose to overlook. I just feel you should consider this now, so you can bring your boy up with honesty and clarity."
With that, the doctor placed the clipboard neatly down on the bedpost and walked away. The father jumped up angrily, but she restrained him. He relented and sat down, unsure if he was furious or beaten. They both stared distant for a few seconds, trying to comprehend the truth of what they'd been told. For a moment, it was as if they grasped something - a higher thought. But quickly it melted like warm snow. They looked down at their beautiful boy once more and began to beam short term smiles. All else was forgotten - for now, at least.