This early morning I was sitting in the boardroom of Children’s Hospital as one of two parent representatives of the Quality & Safety Committee of the Board. It was the first time this committee with many board members allowed parents to participate. It was a big deal to have parents hear their discussions about the issues that are closest to the heart of a parent at the hospital – the safety of our children, the quality care of our children. To let us in behind those thick doors was a big deal. But not only to listen, they want our opinions, our voices, so they can make this hospital an even better place for our children.
If someone would have told me five years ago, ten years ago, that the boardroom of Children’s Hospital would be one place I would go, I would not have believed him. I would not have thought that I would be greeted by the COO of Children’s Hospital as “Jacob’s mom”. I would not have thought that I would be the voice for parents dealing with an ill child. I would not have thought I would be part of making Children’s Hospital a better place, a better hospital. I would not have thought that I would sit opposite the Chief Quality Officer and President, and feeling completely comfortable. Putting on the hat of seeing the “bigger family perspective” than “just” being Jacob’s mom. Realizing that the good coffee of the hospital is kept in the boardroom together with delicious breakfast items on a rainy Tuesday morning. Realizing that these high-level people are lacking the perspective of the parent, no matter how good they are about analysis and running one of the country’s Children’s hospitals, they do need us.
I guess this is not the place I would have picked to go. I guess this would not have been part of my plan five or ten years ago, if you would have asked me. But you know what, all our lives might not turn out exactly the way we wanted them to, but the difference lays in the thin line between embracing the new places or not. So with that, I had another cup of that great coffee and a newly toasted bagel. Oh the places we go!