Dad wasn’t casually disappointed the day Mom reported to him I had three cavities, following my 8-year-old annual check up with our Elmhurst dentist, Dr. Erikson.
Dad was crestfallen, bereft; and, if you ask me, inordinately judgmental about WHO was at fault for this state of decay.
Until this happened, I liked going to the dentist because presents were involved. I received a new toothbrush in a new color. Even better, Dr. Erikson kept a box of trinkets in his desk drawer. We child-patients picked a present to herald the end of a successful visit.
“Trinkets” may be giving them airs. Not a single 1-inch cupie doll, plastic airplane or bead bracelet had the stamina to remain unbroken longer than a minute in the hands of any child. It mattered not. Anticipating getting something outweighed by far the actual got.
When I disappointed Dad, I wanted to give the trinkets back. I wanted to give the cavities back, too.