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Humility—One Silver Crown at a Time

My 5-year-old daughter has to have two silver crowns put in her mouth next month.

A two-hour surgery that she has to be completely sedated for. Apparently when a cavity has been rotting in your child’s mouth unnoticed for so long the pretty white ones won’t hold up and they have to use the silver ones.

The dentist informed me that most kids love them because they think they have jewels in their mouth. (Yes, this is a true story.) This means she’s going to show everyone—her teachers, strangers, all our friends and my in-laws just to name a few.  My shame over the fact that I am sometimes (ok, mostly) too tired at the end of the night to enforce good brushing habits is on public display.

I’ve been trying to hold together that perfect mom image for so long and it’s about to get shattered by two shiny silver crowns.

In a vain attempt to relieve myself of guilt, allow me to explain that this child, my 3rdof 4 and the only girl amongst them, has an extraordinary mouth.

Exhibit A) She was born with a (box cutter shaped) tooth. (Yes, this is a true story.)  The odds are roughly 1 in 6,000 for a child to be born with a tooth, but I believe the odds to be much lower for a child born with a box cutter shaped tooth.  I tried to get them to pull it out when she was three days old but the dentist advised against it and filed it down slighty instead.

Exhibit B) When she was 18 months old she was causally playing near the rails of our staircase when she suddenly flung herself towards them and managed to knock out the tooth NEXT to the box cutter shaped tooth.  The older kids in the house were not happy that she was the first one in our family to get a visit from the tooth fairy.

Exhibit C) When she was 3 years old we discovered her tonsils and adenoids were 3 times as large as they should be.  An hour of surgery and 3 weeks of the most horrific post-surgery recovery ever and she hasn’t snored since.

God humbles. Sometimes privately, sometimes publicly.

I pray to be reminded that my goals are not perfect teeth nor perfect children nor a perfect motherhood.  But that my life more perfectly aligns with Him.

“Lord Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver Me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.”  [Excepts from The Litany of Humility]



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Kristen Hamill

Kristen Hamill teaches Natural Family Planning in Colorado with her husband, John. In addition to raising their four young children and working part time in a tearoom, Kristen teaches Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and is an avid runner, skier and healthy living enthusiast.

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