When you were about 4 or 5 I took you to a weekend math conference I was speaking at in south Orange County.We stayed at the Westin Hotel and had a great time – swimming in the pool, watching TV, ordering room service.You didn’t even seem to mind sitting through my talk.After we got home, it was back to work as usual, and I don’t think we talked abut the trip again except for saying that it had been fun.About six months later we happened to be driving near the Westin and you said, “Look, dad.There’s the hotel we stayed at.”I said, “You’re right, sweetie,” surprised that you would remember the specific hotel.Then you looked right at me and said, “Room 405.”
It was then that I knew this was no ordinary child.
For you, information was always taken in, analyzed, catalogued, and stored in such a natural way that you were not even aware of the process.Details were useful, not threatening.Data about the world – both quantitative and qualitative – was always welcomed.
I think it has taken you most of your life to come to terms with the fact that you have a remarkable mind.Children can sometimes be unkind to a peer who seems a little different, especially if the genesis of that difference is intellectual.I know being a kid was rough on you sometimes.I tried to help – not always effectively – when you felt that the others did not understand you.The fact is, they probably didn’t.But I always knew that if you could reach the other side of childhood that you would have a remarkable adulthood.
And so you have.
At an age when many of those same peers are still trying to find their way in a complex grown-up world, you are leading the way.You are a doctor, Dr. Anne Kennard, perhaps the only palindromic OB/GYN in America.You are in a residency program at one of the top hospitals in the country, one of eight chosen out of more than eight hundred applicants.
They saw in you what I knew long ago: this is no ordinary doctor.Although just a first-month resident, your accurate diagnosis today of a breach presentation resulted in a good delivery in a situation that otherwise could have had a bad result. Once again, data was taken in, analyzed, and, now, applied.Mother and child are doing well.
I wonder if the mom, who is resting this evening after a busy day, is in room 405.