My Brave Son

I admit it: I’m a wimp.

Today was a very difficult day for me, as Sean was scheduled to have 4 teeth removed to make more room for his adult teeth to grow in. In fact, his mouth was more crowded than Aberdeen parking lot (Aberdeen is a busy Chinese shopping mall in Richmond for those who are unaware).

I had been understandably nervous for the poor guy for the past week or so, but many blessings had come from it, including really good prayer time and thoughtful discussions.

After taking Jake to school and partcipating in a quick conference call for work (thanks Richard and Zinha for letting me use your office and saving me some valuable travel time!!!) I rushed home to pick-up Gail, Kayla and Sean to take them to Cambie Surgery Centre. Sean was remarkably calm in the van and only when we got there did he show signs of nervousness. In fact, he was more agitated by the fact that he hadn’t eaten all morning, and all of the shows he had watched earlier featured people chomping down food!

After a nurse came into to apply numbing cream to Sean’s hand, Dr. Chan came in to explain the procedure to us: that’s when we found out that she wanted to remove 6 teeth and not the original 4 we anticipated. Despite the 50% increase in tooth loss, we trusted the good doctor’s advice.

Sean chose me to go into the operating room with him (lucky me) and as we walked into the room, I could feel my heart racing. I lifted him up onto the operating bed and they asked me to put my right arm around Sean so he couldn’t look back over his left shoulder.

As we started to blow bubbles as distraction, the doctors began to administer the general anaesthetic. I guess his hand hadn’t completely numbed yet as Sean screamed “Ouch…what are you trying to do to me? Put a hole through my hand?”

I was half-laughing and half-cringing as I frantically thought of new games to play with the bubbles. I then heard the doctor say “Ok, he’s going to have a little cough.”

Sure enough, Sean coughed twice and then his eyes rolled up towards the back of his head as he fell limp in my arms. So many thoughts raced through my head at that instant, most of them unpleasant. I helped placed Sean flat on the bed, gave him a kiss on the forehead, and left the room crossing myself and saying a quick prayer.

Outside, Gail and Kayla were waiting for me and Gail just had to look in my eyes to see that I was on the verge of breaking down. “It’s hard, isn’t it?” Gail asked, recalling that she went in with Sean 2 years ago when he had his 2 front teeth yanked.

“That was nuts” I said as she wiped the tears from my cheeks.

We went for a quick lunch before returning: Gail and Kayla waited in the van while I read the newspaper in the waiting room. What was supposed to be 30 minutes ended up being 90 minutes before a nurse came to retrieve me.

“Sean’s up now” she said. “Everything is fine. He asked me how long he was asleep for.”

“Thank God” I replied as I hurriedly followed her into the recovery room. There Sean was, drowsy yet cheerful.

“Hi Dad! Can we go home now?”


I put his jacket on while receiving final instructions and then scooped him up to carry him out. We made a quick stop at Lansdowne to buy some congee and bubble tea for Sean’s dinner. In a nice surprise, I ran into Dave in the mall so I dragged him with me to buy the bubble tea and then to the van to say hi to his pant-less Goddaughter, my lovely wife, and the drowsy boy. We then picked up Jake and went home. Once home, Sean took a big nap for the rest of the afternoon, despite Jake’s constant attempts to goad him into a game of Wii Soccer. Once Sean awoke, he became stronger and more alert throughout the night. By the end of the evening, I had to convince him to go to bed so the Tooth Fairy could pay him a visit, albeit an expensive one at that!


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