Sometimes being a father stinks. Sometimes things just happen that get you down. My daughter just “lost” a tooth. I put lost in quotes because I’m not talking about my seven-year-old daughter who is supposed to be losing teeth. I’m talking about my three-year-old daughter who shouldn’t be losing any teeth for a few more years. Now she has a large gap where one of her front teeth used to be and it makes her look a little… well something. Now that the ordeal of losing it is over she’s thrilled. She says she’s a “big girl” now and was on cloud nine after getting back from the dentist (who was awesome). Heidi and I, on the other hand, are not exactly thrilled. In fact, I’m bummed.
I’m bummed because my little girl doesn’t look exactly like my little girl any more. As she stated, she looks like a big girl now. I know this is vain, but I liked the way she looked with all her teeth. She is my baby, and I liked her looking that way even if she does talk like an adult sometimes. In the grand scheme of things I know that how she looks doesn’t matter (she will always be my little girl) and we will soon forget about her toothless grin, but I still wish that tooth was in place.
I’m bummed because I was there and “could have” prevented the whole thing. She was crawling off my lap (something she hasn’t needed help with for a long time) and just slipped and landed on her hands and face…. or rather her tooth. If I could go back in time I “could have” prevented this from happening. Trouble is, I can’t go back, I can only go forward and that leaves me with a feeling of helplessness, which isn’t fun at all.
I’m bummed because things like this remind me that she, and I, and everyone on earth, are mortal and that painful experiences like this (and of course ones that are much much more painful) are more a part of this life on earth than we would like to admit. And for this, oddly, I am thankful.
I am thankful to be reminded that it is not this life on earth that we were created for, but rather the one to come. It is easy to get caught up in this life on earth and to worry about things that will pass away like possessions and careers, and to forget about the weightier and more important eternal things.
I am thankful that even though we know we will have trouble in this world, Christ has already dealt with it. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
And I am thankful that even though sometimes my troubles may be as trivial as a missing tooth, He has still told us how important we are to Him. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:29-30.
And so I continue to be bummed about a missing tooth. But now with a heart that is a little more thankful and with a joy that comes from serving a savior who has better things planned for us all.