I’ve written numerous times in the past that I’m convinced that God or fate, depending on your religious beliefs, has a finely-tuned sense of humor. He or she is better than any comedian I’ve ever seen — better than Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Bob Hope, Joan Rivers, Tina Fey and whoever else you can name in the prime of their careers.
Here’s case in point #522.
Like clockwork over the years, my children — first my daughter, then my son, and then finally my youngest son — have needed to get their wisdom teeth pulled by an oral surgeon. They’ve consulted with the surgeon and then a few weeks later, they’ve had their teeth extracted. (I don’t remember this happening when I was a teen, but where I live, it’s a rite of passage.)
My kids have all been glum about the process. I guess this is a good spot to point out that I’m a sarcastic sort. Oh, I love my kids and we are close, but we also have a healthy relationship. We lovingly poke and tease each other. They make fun of my balding head and creeping middle-age belly. I make fun of them having to go to school, when they’d rather be somewhere else, or taking on adult responsibilities like paying their own bills. In any event, I’ve certainly made fun of the situation and them having to go under anesthesia.
Oh God, Oh God, where art thou?
Oh, I should have known that God, would go full “mama-bear mode” and protect the cubs. I should have known to keep quiet. Of course, I’ve done the exact opposite and inserted my foot firmly in my mouth:
- I’ve told each of my kids to “suck it up,” joking that back in the day, we didn’t have all the wonderful anesthesia options like today.
- I’ve pointed out that I didn’t understand why they were whining about the after-care pain, when it meant that they got to stay home and sleep or watch TV. “Oh, the horror of it all.”
- I’ve made fun of the inconvenience saying, how bad could it really be?
- I’ve questioned whether they were “milking it,” joking how I got one of my wisdom tooth out years ago without any anesthesia. (We don’t need to tell them that it hurt like hell, and that the sound of cracking teeth left me forever scarred. Ugh.)
Ouch, that hurts
So, I’m minding my own business this week, working to get up-to-speed on an important work project. I wake up one night and can’t sleep. I’m thinking about the project and all that I need to accomplish. Next thing I know, the back of my mouth starts to hurt, I mean really hurt.
It dawns on me that I’ve had a mild toothache for at least three weeks. I blow it off and go back to bed. I fall asleep eventually, but the pain stays the rest of the week. When I see my dentist, she spots the problem right away. One of my molars needs to come out. She suggests that since I’m going to be under anyway, it makes sense for the surgeon to remove my last two wisdom teeth.
So, the very thing I’ve made fun of my kids over the years, I now must get done. I have to try to get in to see an oral surgeon and have oral surgery. The very thing I’ve harassed and teased my kids about, has come full circle. Of course, I rationalize: When my kids had it, it was a minor thing. Now that I must get the same procedure, it’s a “serious, serious issue.”
Is it Karma? Coincidence? I’m biased. I think God is having the last laugh. He’s getting me back for all the times I’ve poked fun of my kids — his precious babies. Of course, he stands up for them. I sound like my kids, when I joke with my wife that God’s playing favorites, he loves the kids more than me.
I should note that my wife has no patience for my self-pity. Right on key, she tells me to “Suck it up Buttercup.” I think about her response and wonder where I’ve heard that line. (The remark sounds familiar. If this were a screenplay, the director would write in his or her notes: “Insert sarcastic audience applause or emoji here.”)
Learning my lesson
I’m learning though and, hopefully next time, I will be smarter. When my daughter asks about renewing her driver’s license or my youngest son complains about the price of gas, I will shake my head in agreement and say nothing. I will keep my mouth shut!