life, by the bucketful

my daughter is determined to get back to normal. next week, she’ll be twelve. we’ve arranged a small party at home. she can do that.

then, today, a birthday invitation arrives to a friend’s party in a couple of week’s time. pizza – gluten-free too – at a restaurant fifteen minutes away. she says she’ll go if she’s up to it. so that’s a very definite maybe.

she needs a brace, her teeth are crowded and hurt. through all of this, we kept the appointment to see an orthodontist, she had impressions taken, and i booked follow-up appointments for her to have four teeth extracted. today, she should have had two teeth removed. at the last minute, she refused. she couldn’t go through with it. she raged in the car all the way home, furious at the pain within her.

i knew going to the dentist was a close call. and i was worried that if it all fell over at the last minute, which it did, it would set her back. crying worsens the pain.

i don’t know. there are days when close call follows close call follows close call.

we set small goals: eat breakfast at the table; dress herself; short walks out each day.

but life spins around her beyond that. she sees that.

she wants it back by the bucketful.