Ava had to have two teeth pulled today and I'm not sure if it was more traumatic for her or for me. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm leaning toward more traumatic for her. She is such a worrier, so she feared this dental visit and built it up terribly in her mind. She whimpered and cried through the entire process as I tried in vain to keep her calm. It hurts so much to see her afraid and uncomfortable. And when I saw the second tooth as the dentist was pulling it out, I just about gagged. It was so long, and I imagined it left a gaping deep hole in her gums. That's when I started to feel traumatized, too.
But she made it through and I held her after it and told her how proud I was. I knew she was afraid and didn't want to go through it, but she faced it regardless and prevailed. That's character. She's going to face many similar times in her life when she would prefer to avoid, run from, or ignore what needs to be done. Today she had a taste of facing hard times and coming out on the other side stronger and better because of it. It's a discipline and a chance for growth even in something as ordinary as a trip to the dentist.