Grace appears at the door, wondering which plane's coming down this time, and Jackie tries her best to put on a new, sweet face. "Mrs. Vogel says that you have good grades!" Kevin nods, touching her: "We're proud of you, monkey." Connie's beeper goes off, and she silently thanks Jesus, running at a fair clip before Jackie can take her down like a gazelle in the field. But not fast enough.
Jackie runs after her, apologizing for getting rattled. "It's hard to listen to a bunch of strangers criticizing my kid..." Connie spreads her arms wide; you're a nurse, you know this by heart: "Nobody was criticizing. We're here to help." She knows, she didn't mean that either. "Look, we are both nurses. And I really want to understand this. You don't think they're going a little bit overboard in there? There's no sun in the pictures? Please." Trying the nurse game, the We Know Better game, that works so well at All Saints. "Okay, so she circles the desk, I don't know, maybe it could be..." Connie crosses her arms.
Worst part of the job, getting through this roadblock, trying to get as much authority in your voice as possible. Like an intervention, which is what this is: "It's a big deal." Jackie isn't hearing it. She circles around it three times, because she has to. "Look, you know how quickly kids change? Developmentally? Just when you think you know them, suddenly they're into something else. In six months she could be a completely different kid, in which case this meeting becomes totally irrelevant."
Connie's not used to this, she's used to having the upper hand, to having parents worship her the way all nurses are worshipped by those in need, or in pain. Just like Jackie is. The fact that they both speak the same language means they can't ever talk. "Your daughter has serious issues," she says, and Jackie loses the pleading tone, gets mad again: "Issues? What 'issues,' she has a personality. You guys! The minute they show even the slightest sign of being a little bit different, you want to write them a prescription."