Posts for category: Family
Memorial Day is dedicated to remembering and honoring the brave service members who gave their lives for our country. I have remarked before that timing is everything and these are indeed some interesting times; in our country and in the world at large. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the US involvement in WWII. My dad served in the US Navy in the Pacific Fleet during WWII and although he did not lose his life, many did, not only in that war but in others. I am grateful for their service and honor their sacrifices.
Exactly 78 years after my dad went through Navy boot camp in Great Lakes, IL, my grandson did the same at the beginning of 2020, further linking the past to the future. I feel a deep sense of pride in their commitments and sacrifices, but also in that connection. I am hopeful that as my grandson gains the knowledge and skills to best serve our country he comes to the full understanding of the value of each life that contributes to our freedom. I wish my dad could have seen his great grandson in his uniform. He too would be proud.
Our practice supports military veterans in their oral health and works with the Veterans Benefits to successfully meet their needs. Carol is our liaison for veterans, so please address her with any questions you may have. We are happy to care for US veterans.
We all have crossroads in our lives, those points where we have the opportunity to choose between different options and whichever we choose has some effect. Big or small, those choices have an effect on other things like a chain reaction. We can make the choice to remain the same or the choice to veer off the path and make a life altering change. Of particular interest to me is how these choices then make connections in our lives. Recently at my daughter’s wedding, I gave a father-of-the-bride speech and talked about this. If I had not changed course and gone to dental school things would have been entirely different. As luck would have it, I became a dentist and eventually met Lisa. We married and had our lovely daughter. She went to USC like her parents, where she met her future husband. Connections.
There is a similar crossroads connection when patients I have seen for years bring their children to me and then those children grow up and have families of their own who become my patients as well. What a great thing it is to treat multiple generations of families as patients.
The last of the baby teeth are not usually lost until around age 11, although by then many children stop believing in the tooth fairy long before. Often it is kids at school or older siblings that ruin it for the younger ones. Children (like my granddaughter) will happily play along just to collect a little money for their teeth. A recent patient asked me if I knew where the myth of the tooth fairy began and because I did not have an answer I did some digging. There are differing accounts as for the very first, but many cultures have stories.
In the Middle Ages it was believed a witch could place a curse on someone with the use of their teeth, so they had to get rid of them by swallowing, burying or burning. Sometimes they were left for rodents or crows who reportedly had strong teeth. People thought a tooth fed to a rodent or crow could then lead to development of a good and strong adult tooth.
In 18th century France, the tooth fairy myth took on more fairytale features. A bedtime story, La Bonne Petite Souris, tells the tale of a mouse that turns out to be a fairy and helps a good queen imprisoned by an evil king. The mouse hides under the evil king’s pillow and defeats him by knocking out his teeth.
The idea of leaving the teeth under the pillow in exchange for money may have originated in Scandinavia. The Vikings paid children coins for a lost tooth. The teeth were then made into necklaces and worn as good luck charms in battle. You can just picture an image of a fierce Viking in a horned helmet taking the teeth of children.
The more delicate description of a fairy came later, as recent as the 1900’s. When WWII ended, American society became more prosperous, families became more focused on children and the tooth fairy idea gained popularity.
Many legends of the tooth fairy have been passed down throughout generations and cultures.
I’ve been thinking lately that with tensions running high throughout our country, stressors overwhelming and emotions likely erupting, now is the time more than ever to hit the pause and call on some perspective. I have witnessed, on more than a few recent occasions, unmet expectations fueled by emotionally charged themes and before you know it friends, coworkers, siblings and spouses are divided by a toxic disagreement. I am not only referring to last week’s election, but also with this being the time of year that it is and Thanksgiving happens to be the upcoming holiday this month. Family gatherings have the potential to become forums for nasty arguments and hurt feelings, but only if you allow it. Unless your intention is to avoid touchy issues altogether, perhaps you will go in with an open mind and an open heart. Listen with the intent to understand, not to disagree and to selfishly prepare what you will say next. I am reminding myself that, while I cannot control what happens nor what others say, I can control my own response.
Families will be drawn together next week to share this holiday of thanks and my hope is that each and every one will feel comforted by what matters most. I will challenge myself to think less of things I want and to more graciously consider all the things I already have. Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday because it is spent with our family. I wish you and your families the very best.
Karen Michinock, one of our outstanding dental hygienists, has been a member of my practice team for over 30 years. You come to know much about a person when you work with them for so long. I have witnessed birthdays, graduations, weddings and more life events for my staff than I can count. Perhaps there is no greater delight than the birth of a grandchild.
I invite you to join my staff and me in congratulating Karen and her husband Pete on the birth of their first grandchild. Karen’s daughter, Megan and her husband, Jon, gave birth to a sweet baby girl this month. Her name is Vivian Rose.
When Karen began working in our office, her daughters were tiny. Jessica was a toddler and Megan was only a few months old. I have watched these girls grow through the years into lovely young women. Though she lives out of state, Karen and Pete’s daughter, Jessica, is excited to be a new aunt. Megan and Jon live close enough for regular visits, which I expect Karen will have often.
This is a unique time for Karen and Pete, so full of joy. I recall when my grandchildren were born and nothing can compare to that feeling. Many people will attempt to give their advice, but the only wisdom I wish to impart is to truly enjoy this time. It goes by so quickly and before you know it, they are teenagers.