Last weekend Emmett went to a birthday party. He was so excited to see his friends, and because it was at a kids gym, I knew he would have a blast running around like the wild and crazy boy he is.
I stayed home as I was nursing a sinus infection, and I had just curled up on the couch with a cup of tea when I heard screaming and crying coming from outside. I knew in an instant that those were my baby’s screams, and I bolted up off the couch and ran outside.
I figured it was a bump on the head or something, so I was not prepared when I saw my hysterical and bloody child. He’d fallen off something while playing and landed face first on something so hard that it had pushed his front tooth up into his gum and backwards. My heart dropped into my stomach and for a split second I didn’t know what to do besides hold him as tight as I possibly could.
That moment passed in an instant, and then I calmly asked my husband to start calling every pediatric dentist in town, as well as the ER, while I tried to get a closer look at Emmett’s mouth and calm him down.
The bad news was that we couldn’t get him in to see anyone until the following Monday, but the good news was that within an hour he was laughing and playing, which we took to be a good sign. After a few days of swelling and bruising, he looks mostly like his old self. It’s amazing how quickly children bounce back from illness and injury.
We took him to the dentist a couple days ago and they were so amazing that he actually asked if we could go back the next day. It’s looking like he won’t lose the tooth, which is great news, but he will likely have crooked teeth until his permanent teeth come in.
I am so incredibly relieved that he’s ok, that he’s probably going to keep his front teeth, and that for the most part he has been unfazed by the entire episode.
So why do I still feel so sad?
I should clarify here: I am not, and never was even for an instant, mad. Accidents happen, plain and simple. It’s a shitty situation, but that’s just something that can happen when you put a fearless 3 year old in a padded kiddy gym.
But I am sad. Sad that my beautiful little boy’s smile won’t be the same. I know it’s superficial and I’m a terrible person for being sad that my kid’s teeth are a little crooked when children are dying of cancer. I know this, but I still can’t help feeling a twinge of sadness every time I see him smile.