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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Just A Cloud Away" At The Dentist

I didn't expect to cry at the pediatric dentist's office.  I wasn't the one in the dreaded red vinyl chair, being subjected to x-rays and a tooth extraction.

But I cried anyway.

I knew Cam's infamous "Chiclets" tooth was trouble the moment it started shifting in his mouth.  Like a ballroom dancer doing the fox trot, that large tooth was up and down and left and right; always changing everyday.  When we'd help him brush his teeth, it would wiggle to and fro.  I knew it was time to see The Ridiculously Good-Looking Dentist.

It was obvious Cam was anxious the moment we stepped through the door.  His eyes crinkled in that puppy dog way that warns of impending tears. He started nervously babbling, with the only coherent and distinguishable phrase being:  I don't need it, I don't need it.  He uttered it repeatedly.

After much coercion, lots of sweat, and shameless bribery, the dental assistant, Shelly, and I finally got Cam settled in a chair.  He watched Despicable Me 2 while Shelly and I visited in quiet tones.  I recognized a scene from the movie immediately, simply because the song being played is one of my favorites:

This rainy day is temporary.
The contrast is why we got him.
'Cause sunshine due
is just a cloud away. 

I have had a number of rainy days lately.  Camren has been "pull-your-hair-out" challenging; his Asperger's my nemesis.  I wring my hands with worry.  I lie awake at night, wondering what trials his future holds.  I read articles and books and blogs in an effort to educate myself.  I want to help him; I feel like I'm failing.

But here's the thing...  Rainy days are temporary, always.  They may last awhile, but they never stay forever.

That was when Shelly said to me, "You are a good mom."

"What?," I asked, genuinely surprised.

"No, I mean it," she said, "You are a good mom.  I can tell.  I can see it."

The proverbial dam broke and I cried.  Shelly cried too.  I told her everything:  Cam's language delay.  His psych evaluations.  His ASD diagnosis in August.  His struggles in preschool.  The peace I felt when I was informed of his extraordinary potential.  The peace I attempt to cling to when times are hard.

Sometimes it feels as though Cam's disabilities trap me in a perpetual corner; pinned against the adjacent walls of heartbreak and frustration.  I do not know how to free myself.  With my weary back pressed up against the wall, I feel lost in my entrapment.

But then the "Shellys" come along.  The angels from heaven, the gifts of light and love.  They are the compassionate and sensitive souls; strangers and loved ones alike.  They are the clear whisper of an answer to a prayer.  The storm quenchers.  The sunshine...

And the clouds part,
and I honestly feel like everything is going to be okay.

(Will you be "a Shelly" for someone today?)


  1. I love you Aleisha, I don't comment enough on these posts but I LOVE THEM and I LOVE YOU!!!!! Now I'm off to have a diet PEPSI!!!! hehe! -Amanda (your sister from another mister)

  2. Oh, this makes me want to cry. You truly are an amazing mom. I will try to be a Shelly for someone today and every day. People need support and love not our judgement. You are so wonderful. Hugs my friend. xo

  3. One of my dear friend has a child who struggles with similar issues. I have seen how deeply hard it is for her. I am sorry for your load. I went to listen to Richard Paul Evans the other night. He has terrets. He said something that really stood out to me. He said, "I am who I am, not in spite of, but because of my terrets." You are amazing, and the perfect mom for him. Loves :-) Risa

  4. how did i not know you had an aspie too? is this new? Anyway my kids school is AMAZING and they have two locations now, North Salt Lake where we go and a new one opening up in Spanish Fork. specifically for kids on the spectrum and it's been life changing for me and the kiddos

  5. Oh sweet Mama and sweet boy. He looks adorable with his missing tooth, yet this definitely adds to his "big boy" appearance. Shelly must be an amazing judge of character, she was spot on. Your children are blessed to have your lovely self caring for them and loving them. Have a great day!


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