Today as I perched my middle-aged tush right on one of those stereotypical plastic tooth chairs in my kids’ dentist office, I giggled to myself. I always do because it elicits memories of how I saw Dr. Sherman, a pediatric dentist, well into my 20s.
I’m pretty sure my mom still drove me too.
We would laugh looking around at the toddlers waiting for their teeth to be counted, juxtaposed against me – a grown ass woman with a real adult job and a car payment.
But we loved Dr. Sherman and the whole staff. We grew up in that office. We did the old school fluoride treatments where you stood awkwardly over a sink in the middle of all the exam chairs like you were the headline act. Just you, staring in desperation at a 30-minute timer that crawled painfully slow as the goopy, gag- inducing substance overflowed and dripped from the giant plastic universally fitting tray sitting intrusively in your mouth. (Kids today don’t even know the horror).
I always asked if I had to leave because I was too old and he always said, you can stay as long as you want.
So many people rush to beat the clock on fulfilling expectations, from society, from family and friends and even self-imposed ones.
Every person is not walking the same path on the same timeline. There are forks in the road, detours and multiple ways to get to the same destination. Sometimes you don’t even go to the same destination.
I did eventually switch to a big girl dentist and was just fine. (I missed the treasure chest though.)
So, in case you are struggling with all of the “supposed tos”, I just want you to know that I sat on a plastic tooth far longer than I should have (I also never had a single cavity in all those years for what it’s worth) and I don’t know but I feel like at 45, I am thriving.
Keep up the good work. You’re doing awesome