When Little Buds Bloom


Bern, Switzerland ~ May 2015

“Is it going to hurt?” she asked.

“Mmm… it is a needle,” I answered. I like to keep things real, especially when it comes to pain. “But you can think of others things.”

“Like Hawaii,” her little sister pitched, as she watched me near her big sister on the exam table.

“Ahh.. yesss.. like Hawaii,” I affirmed. Funny how she’d suggest that, while we were in the dead of winter. I lifted her sleeve to get ready to give the vaccine.

“You’ve been to Hawaii,” she chipped in.

I gasped. “How did you know that? You’re right, the water is so warm and blue…” I slid the needle in and out of her muscle. “The beaches so inviting…”

“You told me the last time you gave me a shot,” she reminded me. “And it was just like this one, it didn’t hurt at all.”

~ ~ ~

Knock Knock.

I pushed the door open, ready to greet my patient.

Ming (Auntie) Soapie!” they chimed, their eyes both lit up. In Khmer culture, it is custom to greet your elders with a respect, using a title of “auntie” or “uncle” even if they aren’t blood related.

I smirked. These two?! The smart ones who gave me so much grief the last time?!

“You’re going to give me shots now?”


“But I’m not scared,” she proclaimed, without an inch of hesitation or fear in her voice.

~ ~ ~

Hola,” I greeted. “Soy la enferemera, y tengo su vacuna (I’m the nurse, and I have your vaccine).”

Hola,” the father replied.

In the chair beside the wall, his lanky daughter clutched a phone as she watched a video.  She looked so familiar. Thick black, shoulder-length hair, kinda like Dora the Explorer. But taller, with glasses.

Suddenly, a light bulb turned on in my head.

“WAH! I know you! But wait, do you know me?!” I stuttered in excitement.

She nodded slowly, the corners of her mouths turned upwards.

Maria, right? The last time I saw you, I gave you your 4 year old shots. You’re so big now! WHOA!”

“I’m seven now,” she announced.

I shook my head and smiled sheepishly in disbelief. It was like seeing a child grow overnight, right before my eyes.

~ ~ ~

In just one day, I came across 3 families with children who all recognized me, even though I barely recognized them. How quickly time flies.  They were once little buds, now beginning to bloom.


Not only do my patients still know me….

they know me




I must be doin’ something right!

~ ~ ~

oops! missed the deadline but love the yeahwrite! weekly challenges.



13 thoughts on “When Little Buds Bloom

  1. Such a sweet story! The sweetness of the children brings tears to my eyes. My youngest grandchild is already seven years old. The other two grew up so fast.

  2. I haven’t started my immunization training yet, but I could definitely use some advice from you! I think I’d be more afraid than the patient! )8

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