In just three days my eldest turns 22. That’s huge. I can’t believe my daughter is going to be the same age I was when I gave birth to her.
While she’s known me all her life, I’ve now been her mother for half of mine. She’s an amazing woman. I’m in awe of her. She knows what she wants, she goes out and gets it, and she doesn’t take any prisoners along the way. She has my complete respect.
Bec’s been there for me in lots of ways over the years. Once, when she was in high school, I had a tooth ache. It was bad. My fear of the dentist did not make the tooth ache go away, which is really unfair and it is also how I know the universe actually hates me. Anyway, Jed was sick of hearing me make whiny noises, and Bec said I had to make an appointment. So I did, on condition that she come to the dentist with me.
The dentist and the toe
On the train Bec put up with my grumpy mood. We were late (I planned that part well), but they managed to squeeze me in (bugger!). The San Diego dentist was not in a good mood. She was annoyed I was late, and also annoyed I had a fear of the dentist. Because everything is my fault, and as stated before, the universe hates me.
It was late – about 5pm – on a friday. I think the dentist was due at happy hour. Which is kind of ironic. Because she sure wasn’t happy. Irony is something I pick up on quickly, because it’s like the universe laughing in my face because the universe hates me.
I had to lie down on the stretcher torture thing, and the dentist’s assistant just flitted around. I took off my shoes because it seemed like a sensible thing to do, because who lies down without taking their shoes off unless they’re drunk? Right? So I had bare feet. I think that might have also contributed to the annoyance I was throwing upon the dentist, who must have thought “oh great, now it’s going to take this nut job even longer to leave because we’ll all have to wait for the shoes to go back on.” The dentist poked around in my mouth and announced I needed a big filling in my back molar and she was going to do it now, and it needed a couple of needles. And if that didn’t work, she was going to have to do a root canal on it sometime next week because I was so late there was no way she could do it now.
All I heard was “The universe hates you and I am the angel of pain sent to remind of this fact, and I’m pissed off that you took off your shoes so I’m going to throw a possibility in there that I might get you to come back for more next week.”
I was stuck. It was drilling and filling time.
So, while tears dripped out the sides of my eyes, and coursed their way gently, quietly and really annoyingly into my ears, the dentist began her symphony of preparation for the upcoming drilling while muttering with intermittent low, yet still audible, cackling like the wicked witch in every Disney movie. (I may have imagined the cackle.) I tried not to sob verbally. I had to keep it together. What little there was left.
Bec had been allowed to stay in the room with me while this was done, “as long as you stay out of the way, right down the end.” Because nothing makes a patient feel better than having their support person down the other end of the room where they can’t be seen by the patient who is going to die on the stretcher thing.
As evil devil dentist began her torture, and my tears began to flow, suddenly I felt a hand on my big toe. It was the best feeling I could have had and I’ve never forgotten it. Bec was holding my big toe. I focused all my mental energy on that toe, while the tooth was fixed. I transported all my energy to my toe, feeling Bec’s presence. Afterwards she said there was nothing else she could do, all she could access was my toe, so she held my toe.
And the tooth got fixed.
Half an hour later, we left. I never returned to that dentist again (thank goodness), and while I cried a bit on the way home, I am very grateful that my tooth was done well, if impatiently. Thank you evil Disney queen witch Dentist.
It must be at least 10 years since that day, and still when I am having a difficult time, Bec reminds me she will always be there to hold my toe. And there have been difficult times (to put it mildly). And she never fails to (metaphorically) hold my toe.
How am I supposed to get a birthday present for someone like that? How can I get a gift that shows her how much she means to me? Even remotely?
It’s just not possible. And maybe that’s the universe’s way of saying it doesn’t really hate me, after all.
I love you, Bec. Thank you for being the most amazing daughter any one could ever be blessed to have, and my friend. Happy birthday.