In my dream last night, I returned to my former work office, presumably as a guest but I logged onto my email. A handful of new messages popped up, which surprised me because shouldn't there be a slew of unread emails waiting indefinitely for a response? There were new faces scattered about the office. I no longer belonged there.
I learned an important lesson during my public accounting days. Everyone is replaceable. Don't be fooled by your rating as a top performer. You are replaceable. Sure, you may be offered more money to stay or it may take some time for you to be replaced, but walking away from your role is only a temporary inconvenience.
Parents are not replaceable.
Thus far this summer, our beach visits have been planned for weekends when both Rich and I are home. Last week, the girls asked to go to a local beach where they've had luck finding sea glass so we arranged to meet Grammy and my sister-in-law for a beach play date with cousins. The only negative was rush hour traffic. Blah! After the girls were born and I was out of work, I felt like I was playing hooky. It now seems like I'm on a perpetual vacation.
I also wanted to share our dental work experience for others who may have to make the same decision. Just remember, you, as the parent, know your child the best. Allie had a front baby tooth pulled out last year after the adult tooth came in far behind where it should have. The root of the baby tooth hadn't properly dissolved and so it needed to be pulled out by the dentist. This required her gums to be numbed with novocaine. While it wasn't a "no big deal" experience, it definitely wasn't traumatic. Fast forward to months later when the orthodontist recommended that Allie have her baby eye teeth and remaining front baby teeth pulled out due to crowding. It's a temporary solution for now. We were given two options for tooth extraction: novocaine by Allie's dentist (which requires two trips as the dentist will only pull teeth on one side at a time) or happy juice by a different dentist who will pull all the teeth in one visit. I asked Allie what she preferred and she wanted to go to her regular dentist. The first visit was kind of a big deal experience but the second one was a lot smoother.
So now we have Anna in the same boat and because of her emotional reaction at the appointment when her diagnosis of crowding with recommended extraction was read, the orthodontist suggested serious happy juice. We would have to travel either into Boston or to an out of the city office which is still an hour away. I let Anna think it over for a few days. She wanted to stay with the regular dentist. She didn't want the commute. She didn't want the strange dentist office. This kid is so used to folks poking and examining her, I didn't see how she wouldn't do well with just the regular dentist. I followed my gut and Anna's wishes and we went with the regular dentist. She was the perfect patient. The girls haven't had any cavities or had to have any other work done besides cleanings so this was all new to them. Having to go back twice (one visit per side) may seem slightly mean but it actually makes recovery easier because you still have one side of your mouth to bite with.
I'll end with a sweet sister story. Anna loves Allie's bear, Katie, who has a personality all her own. Anna expressed that she was nervous thinking about the appointment. Allie told her that on a scale of 1 to 10, the pain was only a 2, and then she told Anna that she could bring Katie with her to the dentist. As we were walking out the door to leave for the appointment, Allie called out, "You are forgetting something," and returned with Katie. My heart was happy.