Do you see this picture?

Right here?


This was the picture which started the snowball which would end in a puddle of tears, frustration, and unresolved hubbub.

That picture.

Right there.

It was supposed to be a quick and cute picture to send his mom, showing off the brand new minutes-old hole in his grin. No fuss. Just a genuine, happy moment.

Why it wasn’t just that, I’ll never know. Maybe he was sleep-deprived. Maybe he was hungry. Maybe the anxiety and fear of dad yanking out a tooth that was suddenly half-dangling had put his mind into an overly vulnerable place. Maybe it was the unease he was feeling over the blood he had just seen in his mouth. Blood always makes him so uneasy. He would starve to death if ever turned vampire.

Whatever it was, and maybe it was nothing above or a combination of everything, but whatever it was, let’s just say… I wasn’t prepared.

We took the picture. He smiled all big and perfect like a champ, so proud of his missing tooth. It was missing tooth #7, you know. That’s something to smile about.

He trotted over to see the picture before we sent it off to Momville. Usually he’s so happy with his pictures. Not this time.

“Dad, I don’t get it,” he said with a slight whimper. Something was bothering him. Big time. Then he forced his mouth shut, not wanting to say what it was he didn’t “get” because he knew that talking about it would make it worse.

“What don’t you get? Do you want to take another one?”

He shook his head.

“Do you want to send this one?”

He shook his head.


He burst into tears.