As I walked my son through the hallways at his new school yesterday I wanted to shout, “We’ve got a first-timer over here!”

See this kid? He’s NEVER been to school before. This is his first day, EVER. Please be nice. Please be kind. Please show him some care.

After I dropped him off I had to go to a scary first day all my own. I had to drive to the dentist to get cavities filled for the FIRST TIME in my life.

Friends and family, you have likely heard me brag about my perfect record of dental health. I find times in normal conversation to mention that I have NEVER had a cavity. I am pretty proud that I can say this despite the fact that I go for cleanings once every 5-10 years and NEVER floss.

Well, my luck ran out. I have SEVEN cavities.

Just in case any of you dental goody-goodies who go to the dentist on, like, a regular basis want to give me a hard time about this, PLEASE don’t. I already had to tell my family, including my children, of my awful prognosis. It was shameful and a true dental-come-to-Jesus moment for me. I have converted. I will be a faithful dental patient from now on. I promise. I have the goal of being the most improved patient in my lovely dentist’s office. (And maybe after that, the MVP.) It’s not that I don’t know the rules of good dental hygiene. It’s just that I thought they, somehow, did not apply to me.

As I walked into the office, freshly emotional from my first school drop off, I raised my hand meekly and said, “We’ve got a first-timer over here.”

I’ve NEVER done this before. These are my first cavities, EVER. Please be nice. Please be kind. Please show me some care.

Then I proceeded to weep and weep in the dentist’s chair.

The dentist and his assistant were so incredibly supportive. They listened to my first day of school story. They assured me that the fillings would be no big deal. They handed me more tissues.

After they assessed me as emotionally stable they got started.

Wow. I thought about how lucky I am to have these two professionals who have chosen a vocation that allows them to help crying, dental misfits like me get on the road to dental rehabilitation. I thought about what my son may be doing at that moment. I remembered that morning how I had seen so many smiling, loving teachers as we walked the halls. I felt so grateful that there are teaching professionals who have chosen to dedicate their lives to nurturing children. How lucky are we that we have all these other people to help us? How lucky are we that there are these good people so we don’t have to do it all ourselves?

As I lay there with my face half frozen I felt so very, very cared for.

Massive love,


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