Monday, January 20, 2014

Teeth and Guts and Seahawks

Excuse me a moment while I collect myself. I'm in just a bit of shock. Apparently, my baby boy is old enough for this:

He started complaining about his tooth hurting two weeks ago. At first, I feared a cavity. Then I asked him to show me which tooth hurt. As he did this, I caught the slight hint of a wiggle. "Jacob! You have a loose tooth!" Jacob was not too excited about this. Then I realized that he probably had no idea what that means. So, we discussed baby teeth, big teeth, and the Tooth Fairy. Sometimes, being the one to have to explain things of such importance, like the workings and origins of the Tooth Fairy, to a newbie human can be a little overwhelming. Somehow, I stumble through these things alright. 

Then, Saturday morning while Jacob was celebrating his second swim lesson with burgers and fries at a local fast food joint, it happened. Jacob bit into a french fry and cried out that his tooth hurt. When he opened his mouth, blood gushed out. The tooth was gone! Unfortunately, it was really GONE. We assume that he swallowed it with a mouthful of french fry-goodness. So, in place of a tooth under the pillow, Jacob had to write an explanatory note. Luckily, the Tooth Fairy does not require a notarized affidavit. 

I never had any problem perpetuating the story of Santa Clause. But somehow, the Tooth Fairy is a little harder. I mean, the whole thought of a little fairy who goes around collecting children's teeth is so silly. As the words came out of my mouth, I felt totally ridiculous. I was sure there was no way he would believe me. But the fact that he became so enthralled in the story is a testament to the wonderful, naive, trusting nature of children. I felt a tad bit guilty for manipulating that trust. But then I remembered how much fun it was for ME to believe in the Tooth Fairy. Kids grow up soon enough to face an unpredictable and unfair world. I'll let my kids live in a sanctified, fantasy-filled childhood for the short-amount of time that they actually have the gift of believing in the impossible.

Tooth Fairy, caught in action

But still. How am I old enough to have a child who is old enough to loose a tooth? I have very distinct memories of losing my teeth. The whole thing pretty much traumatized me. It feels like not too long ago. But when I stop to count the years....that was more than two DECADES ago! Holy hell. And now my own children are entering the phase of life that will become their future childhood memories. From here on out, they're going to remember the stuff that happens and look back on it from time to time. Aw, crap. I don't know if I am qualified to be the creator and conductor of other people's childhood memories. 

In other news, Ryan colored all over his face. He is showing clear aspirations for being a tattoo artist.

Saturday ended with a family (grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, and cousins) dinner at a Japanese steak house (think local version of Benihanas). 

Dressed for family date night!

I'm 29 and I'm JUST learning how to curl my hair. 

We had major trepidation about lugging our kids out to the restaurant. They usually do OK, but the effort it takes to keep them happy and sitting in one place is typically draining and I usually can't wait to leave. It wasn't really out idea of a fun, relaxing Saturday night. 

I forgot one thing, Japanese steak houses come with built-in entertainment! The kids LOVED watching the chef set things on fire. He created a mountain out of onion rings and then set fire to the top to create a flaming volcano. Even I was very impressed. Then there was flame-juggling, and tossing food into mouths (and missing and hitting us in the face, which the kids found hilarious on its own). Ryan was not so sure about the fire and kept his face firmly-covered.

Apparently, covering your eyes takes a lot of energy. He crashed during the car ride home and didn't wake up until morning.

Sunday was amazing. Our friends came over to watch the Seahawk-49'er NFC Championship game. It was a fantastic game. My very favorite kind. 49'ers led by 10 points at the second half. We had a rough start and were on pins and needles the entire game. Ryan may have picked up a few "colorful" vocabulary words. At one point in the game, he yelled "Suck it Kappy" (referring to the Niners QB, of course). I felt an odd sense of pride and shame at the same time.

Down by 10 at half time. Afraid to hope, but still hoping. Intense.

In the third quarter, we tied the game up with some amazing plays. Penalties were thrown everywhere (mostly on the 49'ers). Both sides took some intense hits. Our players did what they do best and worked hard under pressure. We took the lead in the fourth quarter. But one 49'er TD would win them the game. Then with 50 seconds in the game, the 49'ers had a good drive and neared their end zone. 

30 second left in the game and the Niners threw the ball towards a receiver in the their end zone. The six of us were lined up, just inches from the TV. As the ball arched in mid-air, we all simultaneously stopped breathing as we sensed that doom was coming (we're used to being disappointed). That moment of intense anticipation and hope and fear is what being a sports fan is all about. Such an adrenaline rush. As the ball came down, right towards the hands of the Niner receiver and as the Championship was literally slipping away from us, an amazing thing happened. Our cornerback Richard Sherman, jumped into the air and barely tipped the ball off course with his fingers. The play was over. The game was won. What an incredible end. With all our jumping and screaming, I'm sure we had a mini earthquake at our house. It has never been more exciting to be a Seahawks fan. 

By now, anyone who follows football (and even some who don't), has heard the story of Richard Sherman's post-game-winning-play "trash-talk."  People are totally ranting on Sherman, calling him a thug and other names, including racial slurs. I'm loving the hateful reaction to Richard Sherman. I'm eating it up. I know he is too. These hateful comments are the exact things that motivate him to get on that football field and prove himself time and time again. The truth is, people don't know the full story. They judge a man and a team based on 30 seconds. But you know what? We're used to that. I urge anyone who has formed an opinion of this latest Sherman-hating to read his side of the story. He is an intelligent and eloquent guy who has a big heart and wears it on his sleeve.

Sherman's tip-off of that football and his uncensored emotional rant was the perfect ending to the playoffs. This entire season, the Seahawks have been discounted, overlooked, and judged unfairly. Seahawks fans have been disappointed so many times with losses and penalties and injured players over the years. Seahawks fans are an entirely different breed. Because of our history as a perpetual underdog, our hope is qualified and reserved. But while we are holding our hope close to our chests, our faith is big and unwaivering. 

Although they are often used interchangably, hope and faith are two different things. Hope is the possibility that something will happen while faith is believing in something, even when you can't see it. So while we are cautious to hope for good things, we have immense faith in the quality of our players and their ability to get things done. We know we have a winning team, even if we don't always see it (faith). We've seen our team lose hard. But this season we also shut-out a great team during an away game, made two intense comebacks when we were down by double digits in the fourth quarter, and won game after game without our best receiver. We've been picked on, name-called, discounted,  and put through the ringer all to be largely ignored by the NFL and ESPN. And that makes this season of victory so much sweeter. For those that STILL want to hate on the Seahawks, fine. Haters are determined to find something to hate on. As far as I'm concerned, everyone else is just jealous their team isn't moving forward and if Sherman was on their team, they would love him with just as much passion as the Seahawks do. 


  1. The growing process does take a bit of pain, as it inflicts itself upon not only on the body but on the waking mind of a person and the people around them, as it is often a stressing paradigm shift. What should be made consistent are contingencies and measures to mitigate the pain when it crosses the lines of acceptability and function. And when it comes to one of the most significant parts of the bone structure, which is the teeth, double the effort should be made, to assure it doesn't mangle or fray.

    Ervin @ Alpenglow

  2. What Ervin mentioned is true, guys. Teeth loss is a common process for the body to undergo and like most of us, it usually happens at a young age when the body is still growing. Taking care of one's kid during these times is a must. Good day! :)

    Clinton Zelman

  3. Awww. Quite an ordeal for your little one. Glad that's done. Though maybe you can have his teeth checked again soon, to make sure there's no lingering pesky damage or hurt that may spell another excruciating experience.

    Dr. Kent Davis