Somehow, until now, we have avoided all those things that parents of highly energetic children must endure: stitches, concussions, ER visits, broken bones, crutches. Somehow, until now, we have escaped. Do our kids' guardian angels work overtime? Are our dead fathers (the grandfathers of our children) peering down and keeping watch over them?
I doubt it. Particularly the second one. If they are, then they fell down on the job on Tuesday, when the big, long-avoided emergency finally happened.
We were walking sedately down the street. George was holding Lucy's hand. We strolled along, almost lazily, in a post-funeral haze, talking quietly and admiring the lovely weather.
Suddenly, Lucy was screaming. Blood filled her mouth and ran down her chin. It took us a minute to realize that her sprawl onto the pavement had cut her lip and chipped her front tooth.
After the blood was wiped away and the tears had stopped, we called the dentist. The tooth is not only chipped, but cracked all the way up. The hygenist (whose 15 month old apparently sports a similarly injured tooth) simply said, "They won't do anything. It's a baby tooth."
A baby tooth. A baby tooth that I loved. A previously perfect, tiny, shiny white baby tooth, now with a missing corner and a crack running up the center. A previously lovely little tooth that will one day be replaced with a big-kid tooth. Until then, I will wince every single time I look at it, I think, and I'll wonder if the crack hasn't gotten just a little longer or wider. Should I give her that carrot stick? Oh, no, she's crunching ice again!
I'm practically counting the days until she's old enough to lose that tooth, and it makes me sad. Her little Lucy smile will never be quite the same again.
When we finished the call with the dentist, Lucy raised a tear-stained face from the princess book she'd been reading. "You know, you're supposed to be keeping me safe," she lisped, then returned to her book.
It's Temporary. All of it- the perfect little baby teeth, the peace of a mid-afternoon stroll, and the illusion of security when we hold our children's hands.