Suri walked inside the clinic, nodding at the parents sitting in the waiting area as she passed (she saved the small talk for Aviva). She glanced at the receptionist’s desk as she headed inside the office. It was sure nice not having to deal with the administrative hassles anymore… or, at least, to anticipate not having to deal with them.

Aviva’s husband was high on enthusiasm, but lower on recall of details. Even after a week, he still kept asking her how to use the computer system; she hadn’t even approached the topic of filing insurance claims. Yet he did a great job answering the phones, and just yesterday, he’d given the kids an impromptu balloon-sculpting session.

Files in hand, Suri entered her therapy room. Today she was administering an evaluation for the son of a friend, and she wasn’t sure how she felt about that. Up until this year, working for the Board of Ed, she’d run little risk of encountering a child she knew. Tzippora Benjamin davened in her shul and volunteered for the Drive-a-Bubby rides that Suri coordinated. On the one hand, it was nice dealing with someone she knew. On the other hand… well, she was dealing with someone she knew.

“Hi, Suri! This is so cute!” Tzippora came into the room, a young boy in tow. “Ezzie, say hi to Morah Suri. She’s Mommy’s friend, and she’s going to play with you.”

Ezzie zoomed straight for the car garage in the corner of the room.

Tzippora chuckled. “Ezzie loves cars. He can sit all day lining them up in a row.” She sat down in one of the kiddy chairs next to the table. “How fun! It’s like kindergarten!”

“There’s an adult chair next to the door.”

Tzippora waved her off, her blonde band fall bouncing up and down. “No, I’m serious, this is fun.” She put her purse down. “Oh, by the way, I meant to tell you about the ride for Mrs. Hershkowitz. Such a sweet lady, but she’s lonely. She invited me out for lunch after I drove her home from the doctor. She’d love your social groups.”

Suri nodded, wavering between wanting to jot down the information — after all, she was looking to beef up attendance at the monthly social events for the elderly she’d started organizing as an offshoot of Drive-a-Bubby — and striving to keep this meeting strictly professional.

With a quick nod, she said. “Great. Now, tell me about Ezzie.”