Would you look at this kid?
Captain of his football team. State championship ring. Newly minted Eagle Scout. And he’s headed to the Citadel this fall. He’s a great kid.
And he’s one of my kids. Yeah I can remember this little dude when he was all of three years old squirming around in my chair, laughing and smiling at my silliness, poking at my overhead lights and laughing himself stupid at my huge toothbrush. I remember him coming back six months later and all those dumb jokes I told him would come roaring back at me, and he usually had a few new ones for me. I remember him playing our video games, bursting through our jungle gym and drawing silly pictures for me. I remember recommending a great orthodontist to his parents, then pretending to play a tune by plucking the metal cord on those very braces.
And I remember the last time I saw him in the office. He told me he probably wasn’t coming back.
“Uh…I kind of don’t fit in the jungle gym anymore.”
We laughed a good laugh but in my heart I knew what he meant. It meant that he’s grown up and matured past my goofy jokes and my ridiculous sense of fashion. And he’s a little uncomfortable sitting in my waiting room, trying to be all grown up and stuff while all those little kids squirm through the jungle gym. Ah well, when you’re in the business of taking care of kids, eventually they grow up and move on. That happens and that’s okay but it still makes me melancholic. If I had a twin brother, someone more grounded than me, and he went to dental school, maybe I could’ve had another office for adults and then the older kids could still keep coming over here. But I digress…
Back to this kid. I’d like to think that myself and the office played a small part in his education and character development. I think anyone that treats a kid with kindness and respect can claim a tiny part of their upbringing. Although we have a great time at the office and I’m often seen as a big goofball, I sort of take this doctor stuff seriously. While I’m cracking bad jokes I’m also trying to hold my kids accountable for their dental health. They’re only seeing me every six months so in between they still need to take care of their teeth, their smile, and themselves. And this kid took pretty good care of his teeth and himself. I know his folks are proud and I’ll bet they miss that little smiling kid that used to squirm around in my chair, bursting around the jungle gym, and laughing himself silly at my huge toothbrush. I know I do.
Now go out and do something even more awesome with yourself.
And if you or anyone you know ever needs a goofy pediatric dentist that’s trying to hold on to his youth for as long as possible, just click here.