Thursday, December 9, 2010

All I want for Christmas is my first fake tooth

On the playground last week a second-grade boy ran up and said, “Stevie lost his tooth!” and I replied, “That’s great!”

You see, when you work with seven-year-olds, teeth fall like mortgage rates this past year. Down they come every day (not so much lately though, huh?). Often, I watch loose teeth being shifted around by a tongue, ones that hang by threads, or just a proud, big space. I see fallen teeth that have been bagged or put in “the envelope” or shared with me from the palm of a small hand, like a treasure. So, hearing about a lost tooth that morning was just another chance for me to smile and say, “Wow, that’s great!”

Or was it?

Twenty seconds later, a different second grader ran to me and said, “Stevie’s tooth is knocked out!”

I was getting suspicious; this didn’t sound like the standard tooth loss.

“Yikes, was it a permanent one?” I asked while walking briskly to the blacktop. Then I saw Stevie with his bloody sweatshirt in his mouth, blood around his cheeks, and even a splat on his forehead. There were no tears, just lots of blood and a gaping hole where his permanent front tooth used to hang. Yes, a permanent one, that was now held tightly in his dirty, little hand. My heart gulped as I put my arm around him and we scurried to the office where I cleaned him up and they called his Mother.

There, I had flashbacks from when my son was in second grade and playing the limbo game. Realizing he could not shimmy under the pole, he jumped over it. However the limbo pole-holders did not like that, and quickly pulled the pole up to stop him. That is where the limbo pole met his fresh new permanent front tooth. It chipped, big time! Some might think it was odd that I photographed it, but I did, and for the record we are all a little odd. I take pictures at odd moments. I shouldn’t have been so crushed, seeing that this kid survived two open-heart surgeries and this was just a measly tooth! Small potatoes in comparison. However, I did feel disappointed that for the rest of his life he would have a composite tooth in every smile.

In light of little Stevie’s experience I felt grateful that Lucas did not lose most of his tooth because for Christmas Little Stevie is getting his first root canal and false front tooth. Thus, rewriting the famous Christmas Carol, “All I want for Christmas is my first fake tooth.”

1 comment:

Ellen Marie "Mama" Pike said...

Poor Stevie. The added stress is how expensive dental work is, even with dental insurance.

Cute new title to the Christmas song.