Friday, September 12, 2014

Feeling Crowded

Yesterday my son had two baby teeth pulled. He has a "crowded mouth," which means there's not enough room for his adult teeth. This was one of those awful moments when you know your child is going to hurt and there isn't a thing you can do about it. He was brave and polite, and I am so proud of him.

He also knew losing teeth can be a profitable business.

He knows there's no tooth fairy, but he won't admit it. He put the teeth in an envelope and wrote her a very nice note with some tooth-fairy-appropriate artwork. The battle scene is a mouth, the green things are bacteria. The good guys are using toothbrushes and toothpaste, which is red for dramatic effect. The dentist who visited his school informed him that plaque is left by the bacteria...and that it is basically bacteria poo. Excellent metaphor to inspire kids to brush, and draw.

And that request for a little extra money? His dad said that wasn't likely to succeed. My son responded that the tooth fairy was a woman, like mom, so he thought his chances were pretty good. He drew her a picture. And he had to go through pain! He was right of course, she left two extra dollars.

And he reminded me about the teeth a hundred times yesterday because the tooth fairy has forgotten to come from time to time.

As school kicks into gear this year we are trying to make life in our family a little more peaceful, hopeful that we will face these little emergencies with grace. I want to be brave and polite like my son was. We're changing our sleep and work schedules and thinking about our priorities. Isn't it amazing how discussing what we should let go is really about what we want to add to our life?

Comic and artistic genius like this needs time. Kids need what looks like laziness, unscheduled and unplugged time when they can daydream, experiment, and create. And the same holds true for grown ups.

Our crowded life. It isn't just about homework and sports and dinnertime and chores, it's about stuff. I know that time I spend looking for lost things, or "reorganizing" something too big and complicated to be organized, is time I waste.

Then there's the emotional weight of stuff. Everyday problems ebb and flow, but I add so much to that mess. This week I've added unpacked lunches, lost keys, unpaid bills, and so many other things I've forgotten or can't find . . . but will remember at about 3:00 in the morning. VoilĂ , to the mess I add guilt and anxiety.

So today I'm pulling a few teeth. I want less friction, and I also want some creative grown-up things to come into my life. And maybe I'll find a couple extra bucks along the way.

1 comment:

  1. "Isn't it amazing how discussing what we should let go is really about what we want to add to our life?" This is SO true! I'm trying very hard to do the same kind of things right now--scheduling changes, letting go, thinking about priorities. Great post.