learning lessons, lessons learned, parenting, teeth

Pulling Teeth…In More Ways Than One

I simply love when a common, everyday conversation turns into a great reminder for me.

A few days ago, Eliav and I ventured to the dentist for the final (hopefully!) installment of the watch-me-jump-on-the-couch-two-hours-before-leaving-for-the-airport-and-knock-out-my-tooth saga. Eliav was having his front tooth pulled, and we were visiting the dentist’s office to enjoy that lovely experience.

While we were there, an acquaintance came into the office with her third grade daughter. Apparently, the little girl had managed to take the entire brunt of a recent fall at school in her mouth. She was bloody and broken, and ended up needing to have three teeth pulled (and perhaps other work). The mother was surprisingly put-together and even the daughter seemed to be less-than-hysterical.

I thought about them that evening and hoped that everything had gone well. I thought of calling to check on them…and then life took over…and I didn’t.

So, today was the first time that I ran into the mom since the incident, and I asked her how everything was. We reflected on the experience and I commented that I had been impressed with how both of them handled themselves.

And she said to me, “You know what? I really underestimate my daughter. This is a child who I always see as kind of whiny and whimpy, and I was really impressed with how she handled the whole thing. And you know what’s more? It really made me think. We classify our kids so much and put them in boxes and then we have to be surprised by them when they rise to the challenge.”

She continued, “And I was kind of surprised with myself to realize how I underestimated my daughter. I know that teachers and other people often underestimate our kids – but for me to do so?”

She certainly had me thinking for the afternoon. I know that I give myself, and my children, only so much credit – and I make assumptions all the time about how we will all react in certain situations.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could always assume the best? And assume that they will rise to the challenge under most circumstances?

And assume the same of myself?

Lesson learned while picking up carpool today.

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