Why is it your heart can ache when your child hurts, in a way that NOTHING you've ever felt, even compares to its intensity?! I humbly argue this is a pain only Mom's experience. Surly the best Dads have a bond and commitment for their family equal to Mom's, but there is something miraculous I believe God gives uniquely to Mom, to guide her in her ability to nurture her children's growth and development, to help equip them for their success and survival in this life! For Heaven sake's we Mom's need something, cuz their AIN'T NO INSTRUCTION MANUAL, right?! Here's something lately I've had on my heart...
My middle child, a 4 year old boy and I had our minds blown at his dentist check up this spring! Turns out this very responsible and incredibly sensitive boy has somehow has not one but TWO cavities ALREADY! My heart dropped when the dentist shared this news! I never had cavities at this age! Our oldest didn't either... No one in my family I polled has dealt with this type of dental challenge, so I filled my mind with the "why's," "what if's," & the "what should we change" thoughts, Mom's are known for! My husband revealed ultimately that he felt it may be hereditary and that some on his side said they were more prone to tooth decay and had dealt with cavities before. So after proceeding to blame him and ridicule his family's poor dental health (of course I don't mean any of these unkind comments! It's just the stress talking! lol).
My next mission was deciding who should get the task of filling his teeth. I figured a child so young can be even more easily traumatized. One bad experience and I would never be able to coax him back into the dentist's chair! It's tough enough to get us adults to go! With that, I went with the familiarity of our normal family dentist. Not a lot of bells and whistles at his place. No TV's or video games to distract from the deed at hand! But maybe a trusted family friend would help ease the pain a bit... Or so I thought! Well after SEVERAL failed attempts by our normal dentist, with the added use of gas, numbing cream and bribing, he simply stood up and wrote down the number of a pediatric dentist and sent us on our way! I cried and prayed (and of course blamed my husband genes) the whole way home in the car, while my 4 year old son slept off the day, tucked cozily away in his car seat!
Okay, I've since called the new dentist now, who's receptionist insists this guy can get a tooth filled with enough skill and distraction that usually a child doesn't even realize what is happening. Sadly though in our situation, I'm thinking after the trauma our little guy has already suffered, he'll be a bit predisposed even before the dentist makes the first attempt, don't cha think?! Oh and get this, many of the pediatric dentists take the kiddos back for procedures alone! Is there anything more difficult for a mom really, than to see your child in pain?! Well how about waiting in the waiting room and not being able to see your child through?! I've had this discussion with my hubby from time to time, explaining that women really do develop this unbelievable heart that grows more than triple it's size, after having children. They completely change and what was once important, pales in comparison to the undeniable burden of love, compassion and obligation to help your child reach his/her very best potential in life.
Women in general often can be more "big picture" thinkers, where men often focus on addressing the problem that lies right in front of them. So while I'm contemplating how to make sure this whole dental experience doesn't scar and affect THE REST OF HIS LIFE, aching and moaning (cuz I'm convinced I'm feeling my son's pain), trying to devise a 10 year plan, that includes counseling, more one on one time from each parent with our son and his siblings, or even things like role playing and using dolls to represent his feelings for his teeth and the dentist, like they do on TV! Quite frankly my hypothetical "guns are blazing," ready to help my baby through this awful time and keep his pain and even future discomfort to a minimum. As Mom's we ask God to give us the pain and spare our Child! So back to brainstorming this LIFE ALTERING 10 year plan ...
With enough emotion and intensity to power a whole city, I am ready to give this "sure fire" plan to my husband in a fully mapped out proposal in the hopes of selling him on the idea... And then, my husband in his infinite wisdom simply says to our child, "Hey Son, are you excited to go to your new dentist's office? I hear he has TV's and video games there?" To which my son turns to me and says, "Mommy can we go tomorrow?! I can't wait! Oh this is so cool!" Uh.. Um.. Okay, so well, danger averted THIS TIME! Hmmmm, they are darn lucky though, Mom's are prepared just in case! <<ahem>> Better put the "guns" away for now! But certainly Mom will be holstered up and ready for next time! Can I get a heck yeah?!
- Kathi Yeager