Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Intrinsic Value

I have a 14 year old daughter. So, suddenly, I know nothing.

Recently, we were in a situation where my daughter was in desperate pain. She didn't know for sure what she'd done or how, but she knew she was in pain. It just so happened we were away from home, out having fun with some friends. It also just so happened that one of our friends is a medical provider who has worked in family practice and knows how to treat backs.

But, remember, this young lady is 14 years old. So, of course, no one knows anything. All the advice we gave, all the ways we tried to help, all our attempts to get her comfortable were of no avail. She refused our suggestions, fought our efforts, resisted our attempts. I was so frustrated at that point that a comment I've heard before made total sense - I now understand why some creatures eat their own young.

Well, my daughter's back pain did not improve much between Saturday and today. So, we took her to the doctor. I was totally prepared to force her to cooperate with the doctor, based on my experience with her over the weekend. I didn't know what it would look like to force her, but she was going to listen to the doctor and do what he recommended.

Wouldn't you know it - I didn't have to force her at all!! She was very cooperative, even submissive and compliant. I was amazed. When I asked about it afterwards, expressing my surprise, do you know what she said?! She told me that "I knew you were right, but I didn't want to do what you said because I was afraid it would hurt." Then she said, "I knew you were paying for the doctor." Can you believe it? Even though she had a medical professional, who knows just as much as the doctor, telling her the same thing as her very own mother, she didn't listen to us because it didn't cost anyone anything!! Oh my goodness!

You know what will really be funny? When this 14 year old daughter grows up and has a 14 year old daughter of her own. She'll (hopefully) remember this experience when she is expressing her frustration. If she doesn't, I'll be sure to remind her.

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