I went to the dentist yesterday and I was not thrilled about it. My last visit was when I lived in NYC. I lived in NYC before I had JD. JD is 3 and change. You get the point. I don’t really even have a dentist in NJ anymore, so I made an appointment at JD’s since they offer pediatric and adult services. JD went to the dentist for the first time in September. The staff was friendly. The office was bright. We left with toothbrushes, paste, stickers, a balloon and a toy car. I later got a thank you note and a gift card to Dunkin Donuts from the staff. Nice.
When I walked into the exam room for my appointment, I felt and apparently looked anxious. The hygienist who I was meeting for the first time, asked if I was OK, but I felt tears welling up in my eyes and I said…
“No, I’m sorry. I feel embarrassed. I haven’t been to a dentist in 3 years. (Gave her no time to respond, the verbal throw-up continued—I blame this on nerves or the fact that I’ve been blogging about my life for 4 years and have no off button). I don’t know why really. I’m silly, I guess. Who doesn’t go to the dentist every 6 months? I guess it’s that I’m just really busy. I’m a single mom and I have my son all the time and I work and…”
“I’m a single mom, too. My son is 6. His dad left when I was pregnant,” the hygienist said.
And everything changed. I swear to God, the sun shining through the window got brighter.
“Sit down, relax. Let’s clean your teeth,” she said.
As she set up the waterpik tool, I told her that JD’s dad left when I was pregnant too and that we got pregnant really early into our relationship.
“Me too! We were together for xyz weeks,” she said.
She continued telling me about her life as she cleaned my teeth, that she said were in excellent shape (I’m a good brusher and a semi-good flosser). She had her son when she was 32. She has good family, friends and male role models in their lives. She owns a home and works full-time. On the weekends, she spends time with her son at museums, the park and in NYC. Sometimes she dates, but it’s not a priority and when she does date, the guys don’t meet her son. She was basically reiterating my life back to me. It was refreshing. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was removing, um, plaque from my teeth, I swear we could have been girlfriends dishing over martinis. In between spits I told her about my life with JD, about this blog and my book. I told her to Facebook me and she did. Later on that evening I checked my wall. She wrote:
Hi Christine, I just wanted to say it was so great meeting you today and so enlightening to meet another HAPPY single Mom!!! Jack is an adorable and lucky little man!!
I love that's what I portray. That a stranger can hang with me and say, this lady loves her son and loves her life! And, I’m so happy I got to meet a career-driven single mom with a little boy who is happy and thriving. Seeing other single moms doing it, making it happen is so inspiring (Reading crap about Americans hating single moms is pointless). Turns out we live five minutes from each other. Turns I out I have a new friend!
Oh, I also have one cavity. Damnit.
When was the last time you made a new single parent friend? Please share!