Monday, April 15, 2013

that terribly faint and healthy line

Simon's two bottom toofers came in a few weeks ago.

I was all happy happy joy joy, proud mama showing everyone in the family when they first popped on through. Then they grew in a little more, and I noticed that they were a dark, dark yellow on the front.

At first I thought it was food, and I tried wiping it away. Then I thought it was plaque, and I tried brushing them. Nope. Still dark yellow. I called our pediatrician, who talks me down off a ledge on the weekly. He's always laid back. Even when Simon had diarrhea for nine days straight (I apologize, son, if you read this later in life....) he said,

"He'll be fine. It just takes a little while to get through their systems."

And I was like, FINE?! I had to take out a loan for all of the OxyClean I bought!

But when I told him about Simon's teeth, he said,

"Oh, that's not normal. That's not good. Take him into a dentist."

No one told me until later, but my ped, peds dentist and my dentist were all concerned that he had a birth abnormality that means he never developed enamel, that his body wouldn't know how, and all of his teeth would grow in without enamel and would eventually all have to be pulled and replaced with veneers.

I had done my research, so I knew that was an option. And it kept me up at night weeping, thinking about how hard it would be for a little boy to have yellow teeth, to be embarrassed to smile, and to have to undergo multiple dental surgeries his whole life long. I knew it was only one option of the multiple things that could be wrong, but that was the worst case scenario and I just downright couldn't get past it.

I cried into N.'s shoulder until I had hiccups. That hard, can't-catch-your-breath cry. I knew that Simon would have his fair share of uniqueness: his webbed toes, his height, his red hair, his fair skin,  that fact that he dwarfs all of his same-age friends, but I had planned on them being moderate, reasonable, get-picked-on-in-middle-school-then-be-proud-of-it things.

I hadn't planned on this.

A few weeks have passed and Simon's top teeth have come in with plenty of thick, white enamel.

It's a mystery, kind of, as to why his first teeth were missing it. It could be that I was sick around the time of his enamel development and it threw off the ecosystem, but I'm not sure if I'm convinced about that, either.

I wonder if it was God, giving me my very first opportunity to learn a valuable parenting lesson:

I can't fix everything for Simon. 

Ouch. I can't. And you know what? Even if I could, I shouldn't.

It's mine and N's job to raise a good-hearted, respectable, upstanding, independent and and prayerful man. A man who can one day serve God, his community and his family. And by golly, he's not going to be able to learn those things if his entire life is pristine.

So, I've got to learn that terribly faint and healthy line where we love Simon HARD but we don't cripple him with the weight of our overprotection. How do I learn this? I've found that the only way is to pray for wisdom.

How about you, mamas and daddies? Isn't it hard? What have you learned?




  1. C and Simon can be tall and pale and look twice their age together. And the other day C fell and cracked his front teeth into a funny shape so they can have odd smiles until their baby teeth fall out. : ).

    1. YES! They will be tall, skinny twinsies with pale skin and strange smiles, but we will have taught them their value in the LORD, so they'll be confident together!

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  3. My daughter has webbed toes! My dad had them too, so I look at her toes as my link with him. (He passed away twenty-some years ago.)

    The hardest things to watch my daughter go through have been things I can't do a thing about - like her bff moving to another country. It makes me feel helpless, but on the other hand she is probably going to go through other heartbreaks in life, ones that I won't be able to do anything about either. I can only teach her how to work through them.

  4. Really?!?!? Oh how interesting! Yeah, I can only imagine that these heartbreaks get more complex as they get older. I had better hand over the controls to God right

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