My Robot Friend

Posted by Sid

From home, with love…

I get a phone call every day.  It’s from the St. Jude robot.  It’s the same voice that used to call from the dentist’s office, reminding us that there’s an upcoming appointment for one of the kids.  The dentist robot used to call us every few months, reminding us of an appointment.  But the St. Jude robot calls me every day, because there’s always an appointment or 2 or 6 the next day.

It’s almost always an interruption, an inconvenience.  My hands are typically not free to answer.  Sometimes my hands are in rubber gloves, submerged in something.  Sometimes the robot has to leave a message.

The robot calls me at the same time every day.  I can expect it.  It means there is another appointment.  It means there is another day.  It means we still make plans for the future.  It means we still look forward to something.

But sometimes…

my robot calls me earlier than scheduled; I know its number.  When it calls me early, I know it’s a human.  The schedule has changed.  They want my son to come in a little earlier, or the meeting is in a different building.  They need to get word to him.

They ask for him by his name… which is my name… so I say, “That’s me!,” even though I know they don’t mean me.

When this all began, my lovely wife didn’t have a habit of carrying her mobile phone with her, so I gave my own number as the one to call to reach my son–I’m never far from my phone.

But now when they call me, I explain that I’m 600 miles away, and they need to call a different number to reach Sidney the Third.  They can tell him about the schedule change.  I give them the number of Sidney’s mother, who carries her phone with her all the time in this new, alternative universe.

And then, more often than not, they say, by the way…

Your son is amazing…

Of all the people whose brains I radiate, he’s the one I look forward to…

I always know when he’s in the waiting room, because it’s loud in there.  He’s a little noisy himself, but he makes all the other people get noisy too…

He tells jokes I don’t understand…

He makes people smile…

So it was today, as I had the phone balanced on my shoulder while I talked into it, and the sun was hot, and I stood there baking, interrupted from my work at an inconvenient moment, my hands gloved, with something dripping off of them.

The kind lady offered to take my phone off the list and change it, so they wouldn’t bother me during the day.

No, please don’t.

2 thoughts on “My Robot Friend

  1. All of us, that love Sidney know he is amazing. He is an amazing and unique 17 year old. But when others know and comment on it you realize it is not just you (because we all love and think our kids are special, unique and amazing). I am happy that you get to share in his journey 600 miles away because I know you want to be there. Love to you Sid.

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