With Gratitude

As David and I leave CMO and New England, I am unbelievably lucky to take with me the lessons and memories from the caregivers of our children-patients. Running the practice has provided 25 years rich beyond my wildest expectation. Much like parenting, actually: from the first sight of your infant, the intensity of the relationship initially surprising, then deeply satisfying, at last gratifying.

I have seen in our waiting room the most patient and extraordinary human beings. From the delighted first-time mom to the dedicated dad, from older sibling caretakers to grandparents and fosters. You've cared for the tiniest premies we all feared for their next breath, to high school grads we cheered for somehow making it through. In the early days, you shared your children with mine: Jason (now 31), Elise (26) grew up in our office. They met kids with stay-at-home parents and parents who worked, children with special needs and kids with every advantage and those with nearly none.

Despite all the challenges you faced: a feverish infant, a toddler who favored the word "no!", a hundred ear infections or snotty noses, struggles with insurance coverage for medical equipment or therapies, fights with special education departments, the sadness and disappointment of unexpected childhood developments, and---not to scare those not yet there--- the nail-biting terror of adolescent risk-taking and almost-grown-up "no!", despite all that, you have all, to a one, been the very best parents on earth.

You've given me the extraordinary gift of your wide-ranging approaches to the hardest job we'll ever have. You may be a "helicopter" parent or more easy-going, be dealing with chronic issues, difficult family or job or personal issues, have a demanding professional life or be dedicated full-time home-builders. You have moments of impatience and fear, feel like a less than-good parent, or are entirely under-appreciated.

And yet, you persevere. You are bolstered by love for your children, no matter what. To share that with you has been one of the deepest honors of my life.

Thank you,
Gail Ansel