"My practice has been closed for over three weeks. I miss the high fives. I miss the smiles."
Sometimes you need to have something taken away to truly appreciate its value. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, my practice has been temporarily closed for non-emergency services. This pause has reminded me why I became a pediatric dentist in the first place, and how I miss every minute of it.
I chose this specialty to make a difference in children’s lives. I have the unique ability to shape and mold each child’s dental experience and positively change their perception of oral health.
I strive to create laughter, happiness and a feeling of excitement in a setting that can often cause fear and apprehension.
I miss the high fives. I miss the smiles. Most of all, I miss hearing the amazing answers kids give when you ask, “How’s life?”
Often times I’d get silly stories, tales of sports successes, favorite school subjects, what they were looking forward to doing for the rest of the day, or what movie they just watched.
Some answers were so amusing I couldn’t help but grin. “Can I bring my dog to see you? His breath smells.”
Or, “My mom is not very good at math problems, but it’s okay because I’m helping. And I get to wear pajamas.”
In a post-COVID world, I wonder how much their answers to my question will change.
The reality is different now, but I have a feeling kids will be just as curious, creative and unconditionally honest as before. And that gives me hope.
I don’t know what the future holds or when we will return to our routines and establish a new normal. I do know that this, too, shall pass.
When it does, I’m looking forward to the kid’s smiles, laughter and stories.
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