What is that I see?
Can it be?
Are you are kidding me?
A mother in medicine, a mother in pediatric medicine, a mother who has been trained in primary prevention of dental caries, a mother who has been trained in how to teach pediatric residents about primary prevention of dental caries...
Could this mother have a sweet little twenty-toothed three year old with a cavity? And one so large that it recently became blatantly obviously visible to this mother?
But it was.
And not 1 cavity, but let's just say more than one.
Self doubt, blame, shame, worry, sorrow, guilt.
Relinquish my hypothetical license to mother and my actual license to practice pediatric medicine?
With the MIM degree comes connections with pediatric dentistry division chiefs and friends in psychiatry and other caring colleagues who help me see the bigger picture, one that continues to contain a twenty-toothed (more or less) beautiful smile inside and out.
I think of all the things this is not, and feel better.
I think of all the ways this could be worse, and feel better.
I think of my own bad teeth and think no less of my own parents.
I think of my patients and their parents and feel more like them.
I think of my daughter with no holes in her teeth except the joyous one that is about to be there when her first loose tooth falls out (could be any day now).
I take comfort in realizing that Mothers in Medicine need not be perfect nor have perfect kids.
I seek to re-define perfect as a work in progress.