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A Piece of My Mind
September 5, 2007

Balancing Acts

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(9):963-964. doi:10.1001/jama.298.9.963

Merely an acquaintance!” I shouted. “What?” Alex asked, but then immediately raced off.

Accepting the irony of my actions, I skied swiftly after him in pursuit. At the lift, where I finally caught up with him, I explained: “You said, ‘Remember, speed is your friend.’ And I said, ‘No, merely an acquaintance.’ ”

I began to explain in more detail but my son interrupted, smiling, “I got it, Mom. Not as funny as you think.”

Actually, speed isn't the only thing I’m not comfortable with about skiing. I don't like several things: the challenge, the competition, the adrenaline rush. And, oh yeah, the speed. The things that draw most people to the sport. What drew me to skiing now was knowing that I would get to spend the day with my 13-year-old son—time without the distraction of his computer games, his long telephone conversations with friends, or, for me, my work. Alex was 3 when I started medical school; residency, age 7. He soon learned that sometimes Christmas is celebrated on the 26th, and how to put himself to bed when I fall asleep before he does (post-call every third night). I joked with my musically inclined son that we should start a rock band—Alex and the Negligent Mother.

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