Two weeks ago, my cell phone rang and it was the dreaded day care call, arriving only forty-five minutes after I arrived to work (which was admittedly, almost forty-five minutes later than it should have been.)
The baby fell down on the sidewalk, he cut his lip, it's bleeding pretty bad, I think you'll want to get it checked out, they told me. I've been though a split lip before, I told them, not much can be done. I think you'll want to get this checked, the site director repeated. Ok *BIG SIGH* I'm on my way.
Forty-five minutes after, that my hands were shaking as I drove to the pediatrician's office, calling a good friend who was married to a plastic surgeon. It wasn't just a cut. I was afraid he had lost a large chunk of his lower lip. From the back seat he moaned a woeful cry, too tired to scream anymore. His shirt was covered in blood. I was too afraid of disturbing his lower lip which had swollen to twice it's normal size to try and remove it.
The school mentioned his tooth as well. I should have asked them, but I assumed it was cracked, broken, maybe it had shifted. I was sitting in the pediatrician's waiting area after showing up pale and without an appointment when I was able to hold him and calm him enough to even allow me to peer into his mouth. That's when I saw it was gone. Top right tooth. Gone.
I scooped him up, stopped at the receptionist to tell her thank you very much but I've decided to take him to Children's Hospital right away and found some soft music to plug into the car stereo as I lumbered him back into the car seat, both to sooth him and me as I hightailed it for the freeway.
I knew that no matter what, he would be alright. This could be fixed and would be fixed. My mother armor was strong and I would see to it. I took deep breaths during the long ride and listened to him thankfully, drift off to sleep. It was only when the initial shock wore off that I felt a thump in my chest with the realization that he was hurt and the evidence of that hurt, that little baby tooth was no where to be found.
His first tooth, no more. It physically pained me to realize that we found ourselves in this place of milestones and growing up much too soon. It wasn't supposed to be like this. We wouldn't even get to have the tooth fairy.
To be continued...