Dr. Pepper & Life Lessons

Part of Slice of Life on Two Writing Teachers

After a doctor’s appointment, you stop for a little treat. A drink, lunch to bring back to school, something.

I don’t know if you have this tradition, or where this tradition started. I do know that when I was little, I’d always get grape gum after the doctor — the kind that has some sort of grape flavored juice that gushes out when you chew the gum.

So today after his appointment, I took my youngest to grab a snack. Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar was the choice drink. Now this makes so much more sense, I think. Doctor appointment equals Dr. Pepper!

Apparently, according to my almost 13-year-old, Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar is the best Dr. Pepper there is. I’m not sure John Green agrees, but I’ll let the opinion stand.

As we walked out of the store, I realized that we could have easily picked up a drink for my older son as well. I had told him we couldn’t when I dropped him off at school this morning, but why?

“I feel bad!” I said to E. “It would have been easy to grab an extra bottle of Dr. Pepper for your brother.”

E and I quickly discussed — the line was long now, and we really needed to get back to school.

“It’s okay,” we both said to each other as we crossed the parking lot. We reminded ourselves that it’s the person who has to go to the doctor’s appointment who gets the special treat. It was fine.

E said, “It’s just our empathy talking. It’s actually okay to not get him one.”

“Plus,” I added, “It’s not our job to make other people happy.”

E looked at me, raised his eyebrows and said, “Well, you might have taken it a little too far there.”

I had to try to explain. “It’s true. It’s not our job to take care of other people. (Aside from how I take care of you and your brother and your sister. That actually is my job.)”

I think I got a sigh from him as we got into the car.

It’s hard to explain this concept to your child, who it actually is your job to take care of!

But, maybe teaching it to my kids will help me get it straight in my own empathetic soul.

It’s not my job to make you happy.
It’s not my job to take care of you.
My needs are just as important as yours.

Say it with me, friends.

It’s not my job to make you happy.
It’s not my job to take care of you.
My needs are just as important as yours.

2 thoughts on “Dr. Pepper & Life Lessons

  1. Word.
    Say it again!
    And then, when we do CHOOSE to take care of a non-child, we get to be giving a gift. A rare gift! An infrequent, expensive, special-occasions-only gift!
    Or, in the words of someone it’s not my job to take care of, we can “be Santa, not the government.”

  2. I was as stunned as your son as I read your story, but then at the end, I see where you were going. 🙂 I agree with E…Dr. Pepper is for the one seeing the doctor. 🙂

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