For the Love of Sharks

My son Rocky grew up loving sharks. I mean, he was obsessed with them from the time he could talk.

And he talked about them constantly.

He watched every shark movie that he could get his hands on and Shark Week was a major event in our home. One day I came across a bundle of shark post cards at a gift shop that featured a photo of a different shark on the front of each one, with facts about the shark on the back.

Rocky carried these cards around with him like a bible.

He talked about sharks incessantly, until I thought that my head was going to explode but I have to say that he did become very knowledgeable about all of the different kind of sharks…

…the Hammerhead, the Sand Shark, the Tiger Shark, the Great White, the Angel Shark, the Shortfin Mako, the Bull Shark, the Whitetip Reef Shark…

He knew them by sight and he knew the facts about all of them.

It was actually quiet impressive, so I lightened up on worrying about the degree of his obsession.

Until one night, Rocky came to me with a large grin and said, “Mommy, I have shark teeth!”

“Shark teeth?” I asked, “What do you mean that you have shark teeth?”

With that Rocky opened his mouth.

Image result for images of double rows of shark teeth

Sure enough, there behind his two, lower, front teeth was a second row of teeth.

I was panicked.

Did I mention that at the time I worked for a dental practice?

Well, I did.

The next morning, (a bit embarrassed for not noticing my son’s “Shark Teeth” earlier) I brought Rocky right in to see one of the dentists that I worked for.

This dentist happened to be newly out of dental school. I think that she was afraid of my 7-year-old feeling any pain…so she loaded up on the anesthetic…not one, not two, but three carpules of Novocaine.

The baby teeth came out with ease and the dentist ensured me that Rocky’s adult teeth would move forward, right into place.

 

The dentist was nice enough to let me leave work to drive Rocky a few blocks to his elementary school. I knew that I would have to be quick so I could get back in time for my first patient.

 

As we entered the school, Rocky said, “Mommy, my lip feels weird.”

I glanced at Rocky’s swollen lower lip. It was so taut and red that it appeared as if he was wearing lipstick.

“Okay honey,”  I replied “We’ll stop at the nurses office and get you an ice pack.”

 

We were a bit late by the time we got into Rocky’s classroom.

Everyone turned and stared.

The teacher took one glance at Rocky and asked with concern, “Is everything okay?”

I replied, “Yes…he just had two of his baby teeth pulled.”

Rocky slowly removed the ice pack to expose his red, swollen, lower lip.

The teacher gasped, looked at me and asked, “Mrs. Reed, you do know that today is school picture day, don’t you?”

Image result for photos of shocked moms

(That’s a hockey joke for when my boy, Rocky reads this)

 

“Well…he can just take the make up photo.” I stated, “Can’t he?”

The teacher replied, “We have to take the photo today because the school needs one to go with Rocky’s permanent record for this school year.”

Rocky shot me a bewildered look.

The teacher waited for my reply.

“Okay…” I said sheepishly, as I gave Rocky a supportive hug and a kiss before leaving.

 

I thought about my poor son the entire day that day, and the school photos.

I felt terrible but there was nothing I could do about it.

 

As parents, we buy the school photo no matter what it cost or how bad it looks.

That’s just the way it is.

We love our children more than life itself…

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but we don’t have to love the photo, or the ridiculous circumstances that led up to it.

That is just part of being a parent.

 

 

*Photo credit Disney, Finding Nemo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Your Belongings Aren’t Broken…You Certainly Aren’t Raising Boys

For all intents and purposes, I’m pretty simple when it comes to material things. I abhor the mall and  I couldn’t care less about the most popular trend or “Keeping up with the Jones.” I sacrifice to do for my kids. I must admit, I love to decorate and I do take pleasure in incorporating my latest bargain or thrift store find, into our humble abode.

In the last month we have had to replace a toilet seat and the mechanism on the screen door that keeps it from both slamming and blowing off onto our front lawn. Seriously? Why are boys so rough and destructive? I know that it’s not intentional, but it has become obvious to me that they use the same amount of force to reach under a lamp shade and turn off a light as they do to make a slap shot to score the winning goal in a hockey game.

I’m pretty sure that the writing was on the wall even when my kids were small. I was pregnant with Marc and busy fussing over the nursery while I set Kevin (6) and Eric (3) up with brand new bunk beds, sheets and matching comforters.

One wintry, cold night after putting the boys to bed, I stepped out of the shower and reached for the most luxurious, plush bathrobe I have ever owned…a gift from my mother. As I wrapped the bathrobe around my shivering body and reached for the tie…wait, I can’t grab the tie…left side, right side…Where is the tie? Never mind. Are Kevin and Eric still up?

I wrap the bathrobe around myself the best that I can and head into the boy’s room. I turn the light on and begin to say, “Boys, it’s time for bed…go to sleep you have school…” I stop mid-sentence. Hanging from the top bunk is the tie to my new bathrobe. I frantically try to unfasten it, but the knot is so tight it is impossible to do so..

“Why is the tie to my new bathrobe attached to the top rail of your bunk bed?” I ask, exasperated, as I continue trying to free it.

“We were playing spider man.” Kevin replied.

“Just go to sleep.” I quip.

“Kevin is spitting at me!” Eric states before I exit the bedroom.

“You’re spitting at your brother from the top bunk, Kevin?” I ask.

“He tried to spit at me first!” Kevin says.

“There is no spitting in this house!” I state as I leave the room feeling defeated. “Please go to sleep.”

I stop in the hallway for a moment, realizing that I will have to cut my bathrobe tie off of the bunk bed rail and reluctantly, throw it out. Oh, well. The ending of something nice I once owned. Little did I know, the beginning of all of the endings, of the nice things I will ever own in years to come.

I pause an extra few minutes just to make sure that the spitting war has ceased.

Silence.

Then I hear my son Eric state, “Ya know Kevin, mom is right. Some kids don’t even have spit and you’re wasting all of yours.”

I stifle my laughter and think, God I love my boys.