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Lives of Doctor Wives: Residency Roundup: Skipping the 10-Year Reunion

Monday, August 4, 2014

Residency Roundup: Skipping the 10-Year Reunion

It may shock you to learn that this theater geek, this Buffy Summers fangirl, was not counted among the cool kids in high school.  

Ten years ago, I didn't so much walk at graduation as I did run, ready to lock the door on the previous four years and throw away the key. When I got the invitation to my ten-year reunion, though, I surprised myself - I kind of wanted to go.  

I thought it would be fun to show up with anecdotes about my clever and delightful children, and let everyone see that I still fit in my circa-2004 American Eagle flares. And I would cap it off by saying that I'm so sorry I couldn't bring my husband to meet everyone, but he's off saving people's lives because, you know, he's a doctor.  

It's a nice story, right?  A Pinterest-perfect snapshot of my life. I'd definitely omit that my youngest may be sleeping like an angel right now, but even though he's fifteen months old he's only slept through the night twice. And that my three-year-old son is, as I write, protesting my cruelty at requiring him to go to bed by calling me a "mean girl who isn't very nice."

The high school jeans?  Yeah, they only fit because I had food poisoning.  (Don't tell.)
And the doctor, who's off, you know, saving people's lives, couldn't be there because residents aren't allowed to take time off during the summer trauma season, and anyway, he hasn't had a real vacation since February.  

Ultimately, resident salaries are tight and cross-country flights for three aren't in the budget, so there wasn't a real chance for me to go. So what's the point of dreaming up these perfect tidbits to share with the rest of my class?  Kind of embarrassing to admit, ladies, but I guess that a small part of me wanted to show that not only do I fit in somewhere now, but I fit in even better than they do. 
Obviously, I am nothing if not petty.

I didn't always fit in at my high school. But in the intervening decade, I've learned an important lesson: life's not about fitting.  It's about committing - committing yourself to the life you chose.  I chose to marry a premed.  We chose to start our family in medical school, and to expand it during intern year. When he chose a long, hard residency, I chose to encourage him instead of begging him to pick anything--anything--else. When we matched far from family and friends, we chose to look on the bright side and make it an adventure. Every day my sweet and hardworking husband wakes up at some awful pre-dawn hour and chooses to go in and round and operate all day sometimes night and then day again and not complain (usually) about how tired he is. 

I fit in here. This crazy, doctor's-wife life works for me because I choose it every day, and if I could go back to 2006 when this whole path started, I would choose it again.

I imagine, had I learned these lessons in high school, I might not have felt the urge to lock that door so tightly.  And maybe I'd have bit the financial bullet and attended my ten-year reunion and laughed about how we were all so dorky and what was with frosted lip gloss and who was your prom date again, and aren't we so glad we're not 18 anymore. Go Apollos.  

I guess there's always our twentieth to choose maturity.  But, and let's just keep this between us here, on the off-chance that I get food poisoning again and still fit into my high school jeans, you can bet your class ring that I'm going to wear them.  



Blogger Tif Sweeney said...

I've heard that the 10 year reunion really isn't worth it anyways. Of course, I wouldn't know because my class never even organized one!!

Love your perspective!

August 6, 2014 at 12:10 PM  

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