My happy, beautiful, brilliant 9-year old Hannah had a small accident and chipped her tooth at camp this summer. When I came to pick her up my stomach sank—she lost half of her adult front tooth.
In the car (en route to the dentist) she begged me to show her what it looked like and I tilted back the rear view mirror. She burst into tears. Ugh. It was all I could do not to join in.
Now in the scheme of things, a chipped tooth is nothing compared to the much more serious injuries and illnesses faced by so many children. And, as I explained to her, we were so lucky it wasn’t worse. After a few hours at the dentist, you couldn’t even tell where the accident occurred.
Now the strange part (for me) is what happened next—while I assumed (and, I think, hoped) that she would not return to camp the next day, she said of course she was going back. And all that day I worried about getting another emergency call (which of course never came!). Kids sure are resilient!
More recently, my family was scheduled to fly to Florida for my older son’s basketball tournament. We were returning to the same airport where just two years prior a taxi driver smashed us into a cement pylon, breaking my hip and sending my wife to the hospital for several weeks. Thankfully we have fully recovered, but the memory still haunts.
While I was looking forward to watching my son play basketball, I was pretty skittish about returning to the scene of the accident. Fortunately, thanks to Hannah, I was reminded about the importance of resiliency. When we entered that horrible and foreboding parking lot, I found great relief at looking at Hannah’s beautiful, toothy smile.
And, for the record, my son’s team took gold!!!