Guest Blogger: Deliya B. Wesley, PhD, MPH, Program Manager, Health Services Research
Last Monday I was preparing to return to work after being out for several months on maternity leave. As one might imagine, I was dealing with a range of different emotions that morning: leaving my new baby at home, the angst of going back to work and getting reacquainted with month’s worth of project work, catching up with coworkers, and getting used to a new daily routine which now also involved dropping my 2 year old son, Isaac, at daycare before starting my day.
That morning I was juggling several large bags full of things I needed to bring back to the office. So I decided to first make a quick stop in the office to drop off my things, before going to get my son settled for the day at daycare. With my son in tow, I arrived in the building and happened to run into Dr. Weissman, who was getting on the elevator at the same time. He greeted me with a warm “welcome back” and immediately crouched down to greet my son, who usually talks a mile-a-minute but was now putting on his best shy act as he clung onto my leg pretending to hide. Dr. Weissman proceeded to introduce himself to Isaac and without a second thought invited us to go into his office so he could give Isaac something. Isaac happily bounced down the hallway, following Dr. Weissman into his office. Once there, he handed Isaac one of the MHRI giveaways from his bookshelf. Isaac examined it curiously and then gave Dr. Weissman a high five on his way out, clutching onto his memento.
I try to always make sure my son remembers people by name, so I repeated Dr. Weissman’s name to him as I walked him to daycare. Later that evening when we got home, Isaac was recounting his day and told his grandparents that he met “Dr. Iceman”.
It’s a fairly simple story but one that made me smile. “Dr. Iceman’s” simple act and kind gesture that morning actually completely changed the tone and mood of my first day back, making it so much easier to settle back into work. It’s nice to work at a place where even the president made time for the (literal) little guy.
And like any good mom I always have my phone at the ready to capture the moment….