Disclaimer: I fully understand that owning pets and raising children are not the same thing.
Okay, so Cooper Smithburg had to go in to the dentist to have a chipped tooth repaired yesterday. Last year, he had chipped this same tooth up into the dental pulp and we opted to have a root canal done.
A root canal? On a dog?!
Perhaps this seems extreme, but when exploring and researching all of the options, it really wasn’t.
That’s not really the point anyway. The point is that this isn’t the first time that we had to put Cooper under anesthesia; it’s actually the fourth time, including when he was neutered. And every time, I about go into a full-on ugly cry once I’m back in the car. The first time, I legit looked like this GIF:
I even texted that very image to Derek so he would understand the level of meltdown I was having.
This time, I did keep myself together outwardly, but inside I was still just as worried, fearful, and anxious about Cooper’s well-being. I knew what we were doing was in his best interest and I know that with a healthy dog, the risk of anesthesia is low. But there’s still a risk. There’s always a risk.
This is what got me to thinking about whenever Derek and I adopt a human child. Am I cut out for it if I’m this shaken over my dog’s dental procedure? Surely things can and will happen in the life of a human being, especially a child who might be clumsy like Derek. Even if they’re less clumsy like me, I was still notorious for scraping off my kneecaps by falling off my bike a million times when I was a kid. God forbid they have to put my child under for an appendectomy or something. How will I handle that?
And this brought me to an even deeper train of thought regarding faith. The Bible says:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
If I consider myself a believer and I pray about my fears, yet continue to worry and think of all the scary worst-case scenarios in my mind, am I somehow disproving my own proclaimed faith? Shouldn’t I be able to silence my pessimistic and terrifying internal monologue if I am faithful in the Lord? I didn’t used to worry about things so much when I was younger, not like this, so has my faith diminished somehow? Or is there just more at stake now that I’m the adult?
Holy cow. I was spiraling.
The day ended and Cooper was just fine. All went well and he was well. (Spencer couldn’t have been more excited to have his brother back.) All that turmoil and boiling stomach acid for what?
Now that all is back to normal, I’m left wondering if this is all just normal parenting anxiety, no matter if it’s for an animal or a child. Is it just part of caring for and protecting another life regardless? Did my parents feel this way when I was put under to have my wisdom teeth out and they just hid it well? Or were they stronger in their faith and were able to trust that there wasn’t anything to worry about?
All of this has raised more questions than answers. Perhaps some parents can weigh in and say how they handle the scary moments. You parents out there are nothing short of amazing and you probably don’t even realize it. As someone who wants to be one and who is currently on the outside looking in, take my word for it.