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Josh is an M4 today, aka 4th year medical student. It's taken two decades of education plus a gap year to get here. It will be 22 years by the time he has an "MD" behind his name. That is a lot of learning! I was very excited for him this weekend. After two months of isolation, some level of normalcy returns to his life today as med school resumes. This reactivates his alarm, sets his expectations, fills his days with rotations, and gives his life a rhythm.

Early this morning, I wished him luck and sent him a virtual hug.

He responded with: "Last first day of school!"

(He has 5 years of residency ahead of him, but shh!)

We tried very hard not to push our kids into their professions. In fact, we made every attempt to dissuade Josh from going into medicine. The harder we tried, the more set he got in his desire to be a doctor. Go figure!

When Neil was a toddler, he had the attention span of a fruit fly. He couldn't sit still, was always running, bumping into furniture, falling, and squealing with laughter. He refused to watch Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. "The Little Red Engine That Could" and "The Human Body Book" were the only two books that would keep him still. The first came with theatrics from me that Neil loved to mimic and the second was a giant book that he could barely hold up with words like "macrophage", words I could barely pronounce.

Josh is our second fruit fly and he was born with a bonus - all new information was erased from his brain 48 hours after learning. Without fail. Poof. When he was eight, he asked me what sex means. Neil had asked me exactly the same question at exactly the same age, proving my life is a soap opera with different characters but the same story line. After a few deep breaths, I sat him down and gave him the spiel.

Two days later he said, "Mom, I forgot what you told me. Can you tell me again?" I marched to Neil, who was 15 at the time and said, "YOU wanted a baby brother, YOU tell him!"

And here we are, two decades later, the little fruit fly that couldn't remember anything has memorized facts as if he has zetabytes of storage. I can safely say that I had nothing to do with it. His teachers figured out how to deal with this miscreant, how to hit him with a firehose of knowledge and teach him to retain the most important bits.

So, here's to you kiddo - cheers and good luck! Go get 'em. Be the best M4 you can be, even if it means little sleep, bearing the wrath of your attending physicians, and hazing from the nurses. Do it safely and do it with a smile.

You have come a LONG way from the first-first (left). Happy happy last-first!

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