Siena’s Tooth


Today I have to take my daughter in to have a tooth pulled –the roots are infected.  It’s a baby tooth that normally falls out when a child is 10.  Siena is 7.  I notice the story that arises in me about it: “The tooth shouldn’t have to come out.  The infection shouldn’t be happening. She should get to lose her tooth ‘naturally’.”  With that story comes a contraction in my heart, and…well, suffering.

Then I catch myself. I look at that part of myself that thinks it knows what should be happening better than Reality.  The suffering eases, and I become curious about what will come about from this experience of “Siena getting her molar pulled” without any story that it is right or wrong.  I still have a mother’s ache for Siena’s fear and for the pain she will likely feel as the tooth is extracted…but there is something else there too – a willingness to meet the day with openness and curiosity.  Now I can be present for her and gently remind her that nothing that is happening is wrong, that she can trust the unfolding, and that she can trust the wisdom of her own body, knowing that – for her – it is simply time to for this particular tooth to go.  It is okay to let it go.

Tonight she’ll have another tooth to put under her pillow.  And I will have another of her baby teeth to safely and tenderly store away with the others, until she’s ready to ask for them back.