A Coke and a Smile

More than a decade ago, I worked in the Dean’s office of a high school for boys. The school did not have a nurse, so for minor medical pains, I filled the role. At the time, my now-husband was in medical school, and he used to laugh at my medical solutions on the fly.

They almost always involved a can of Coke.

A high school student would arrive looking weepy or holding his stomach or complaining of a headache. I would let him stay to chat. He almost always accepted my offer to get him a Coke.

That’s when I knew the kid was okay.

So when the coke and chat were done, I sent him back to class smiling, usually bragging to his friends that he had had a soda in the Dean’s office.

Coca-Cola – Band-Aid for the high school set.

As a mom, I have learned a new “medical solution” that seems to work just as well. Whenever one of my boys complains of stomachaches, headaches or general anxiety that won’t allow him to fall asleep at night, I offer to get a wet washcloth to place over his eyes or on his forehead.

Seconds after the washcloth touches his skin… sleep. It doesn’t matter which kid. It doesn’t matter why he is struggling to sleep. It works every time.

I am beginning to understand that the aches and pains of growing up most often just require a brief moment of acknowledgement.


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