Yesterday, my dad called as he does to declare that it was time to go get Indian food. Ordinarily I say yes instantly, but yesterday I had to say no because we have a lot going on at MDK and it wasn’t going to be a good day for a dosa.
He correctly reminded me that Saturday is my birthday, so he said we should go have a birthday dosa.
Jolly! There’s a thing to look forward to. And bonus points for remembering my birthday, which is no small feat when a guy has seven children.
I am pretty sure that our dosa lunch conversation is going to focus on his new participation on Twitter. Dad just joined Twitter last week (@DoctorsRules—worth a follow!), to promote a new edition of his book, A Little Book of Doctors’ Rules. I won’t have much advice for him except to stay away from politics. And if you throw in a picture of knitting, the knitters tend to like that.
My dad was born when Herbert Hoover was president. He was a doctor for a long time, wrote 17 books. (He has a website. Of course he does.) He has had decades of time to chase obsessions, wonder about stuff, carve birds out of cedar, get really good at solitaire on his iPhone. He has never stopped being curious, and I guess that’s the thing about him that I admire the most. He never seems bored.
There have been times in recent years when he and I have been completely sideways, mostly because of me trying to come to terms with hard things. But now that I am on the verge of being a grownup—which surely will happen in the next decade or two—I have come to the conclusion that letting go and holding on can be simultaneous activities.
Here’s one rule from Dad’s book I say to myself all the time: “Treat the patient with the disease, not the disease.” Once you start saying this rule to yourself, you discover that it applies to all sorts of things.
PS Yes, that’s my finished Norah Gaughan sweater up there. It is scrumptrelescent!