The dull ache I’ve had for months will become a sharp pang this week when I drive away from a distant college dorm. My oldest is starting his freshmen year and the thought of him leaving the nest is gnawing at my heart.
Also, I have a toothache.
After bothering me for months, a bum wisdom tooth now insists that I deal with it.
Good kids and bad teeth: surprisingly similar.
You share a lot of cakes together, they start to get annoying and then ready or not, they have to go.
And, it is going to hurt.
For weeks I have walked through stores dabbing Orajel on this throbbing tooth while searching for the perfect plastic shower caddy—one in a color and shape that perfectly expresses my love.
It doesn’t exist.
The proof of love for children is in the sacrifices made in the ordinary act of daily parenting, starting with sleeplessness in infancy and continuing to cashlessness in college.
Once you adjust to filling their endless needs, you get used to having them around. Children become your world and although they keep growing out of pants, they feel pretty permanent.
What my son most needs now is to be on his own– freedom from me–my biggest sacrifice yet.
In another week, the dentist is going to pop out this tooth.
The pain will fade. but there will always be spaces where my son and my tooth belong.
They will be missed.