Like all jobs dentistry has distinct pros and cons. For one, our large family represents 320 teeth that need to be cared for and since there is nothing frightening about Dr. Daddy, my kids won’t grow up hating the dentist ( if all goes well.) The main con would be the after hours and weekend emergencies that disrupt our family time or change our schedule. We knew of this going into the profession, but it took some time and practice to figure out what a real emergency was. Some emergencies aren’t emergencies at all.
For instance, if a patient has a toothache for weeks, but waits until Saturday night to call the doctor, well, that patient is irresponsibility (says Mrs. Dr. Bonin) and they can wait until Monday morning during office hours. Others, however, are real emergencies. My very merciful husband would see anyone anytime, in fact, he did for the first ten years. Wifely prodding, family size and years of experience have taught him to see only the real emergencies.
It was Saturday evening and we were getting into a family movie mode. The kids were popping corn as I gathered fluffy blankets for our giant family cuddle huddle, when my husband realized he had missed a call. He called his voice mail and listened to the message with a somber look on his face. Knowing I would not be thrilled about a Saturday night office visit, he had me listen to the message myself. On the line was a precious eighty-year-old woman who sounded distraught.
She commenced to tell my husband that she had laid her teeth on the end table next to the couch. When she went to the kitchen to get a drink, her dog ate them!!
She did not want to miss Sunday School the next day!
Could he do anything? She could not go to church without her teeth!
He wanted me to hear the anguish in her voice myself, to soften the blow of him missing our family movie night. I handed him the phone slowly, understanding that this was classified as a real emergency. My mind worked fast as my hand moved in slow motion, then it came to me!
“Call her back, Honey! Tell her to feed her dog a LARGE meal and she should have her bridge out by tomorrow morning, then she will have her teeth for Sunday School and you get to cuddle with us!”
“Good grief!” was his reply as he looked for his keys.
Hugs and kisses sent Daddy out the door. Dentistry is more than a job for him and I am thankful. He likes to say that dentistry is his ministry and it is the perfect job for his merciful personality. God knew which one of us to put in that profession.