Though a close friend told me my plan sounded to her like a root canal, last week I went to a five year old’s birthday party.
Accompanying my granddaughter as well as her little sister, I plunged into the joyous world of kids going crazy. Bowling, flashing lights, multiple screens and blaring music; classmates, parents and siblings; arcade games; pizza and lemonade, singing and cake! It was a huge departure from the relative solitude and quiet of the last two years, and wow, was everyone glad about that.
I emerged into the world, decorated in icing with just the hint of a headache, but no regrets. What used to be a perfectly normal ritual, repeated over and over throughout life, had become something notable, promising, and unforgettable, and I was glad to have been able to make it happen.
I also enjoy going to the dentist.
Today, I sat back in my ergonomically-correct reclining chair, chapstick in hand, sunglasses on nose, a bib around my neck and a terrycloth towel across my chest. Except for the chapstick, you might imagine I was waiting to be served a lobster dinner.
Classical music played nearby, and through the barely open slats of the wood blinds I could see the pines gently swaying, the skies slowly darkening.
It was a perfect spring day in the Midwest, and the perfect thing to be doing. Doing nothing at all. Just lying there, submitting to the expert care of my very comforting, competent dentist and his appropriately conversational, helpful assistant.
I felt my privilege. I felt my good fortune.
Other patients filed quietly past my treatment area, followed by hygienists masked in cheery green, their heads wrapped in surgical caps.
‘See you in six months!’
‘Have a wonderful trip!’
The quotidian sounded special.
I closed my eyes again. Concentrating on just being there, feeling, and cooperating, thoughts remained at bay. The what if’s, the why’s, the how to’s, disappeared.