What a strange day this has been.  It all started last night...

We were eating salad picked fresh from my friend Calle's garden for supper.  I had rinsed each leaf individually, but apparently I missed a chunk of dirt hidden in the fold of one of the lettuce leaves.  That leaf ended up on my plate, and when I chomped down on it, the clump of dirt resisted my bite.  Pain scorched through my top and bottom molars just in front of my wisdom teeth, and I couldn't finish my supper.

Poor little Mercy Jane had been feeling fine yesterday afternoon, so I planned for her to attend school today.  About twenty minutes into her bedtime last night, she started coughing again, and whining in her sleep, and coughing, and whining.  Around three in the morning, I carried her to my bed so that I wouldn't have to stumble to her room every fifteen minutes to help her calm down.

She slept until 10:30 this morning.  She obviously needed it from lack of sleep the night before.  What was strange, though, was that Liberty -- my morning girl -- also did not wake up until around 10:45.  She left her bed and sluggishly joined us in my bed.  Neither of them wanted anything to eat, even after sleeping for so long, and I wasn't so hungry myself so we stayed quietly lounging/dozing for another forty minutes or so.  Definitely a strange start to the morning, and I wondered to myself if Liberty was getting sick, and if I needed to take Mercy to the doctor or if it was simply a cold.  This whole time, I haven't been able to catch her with a fever.  It's all just congestion and whiny-ness, but only at night.

Around 11:30, we all forced ourselves out of my big bed and ate bowls of granola splashed with milk.  That was when I realized that searing pain in my molars had not diminished.  I couldn't eat my cereal.  Tonguing the offending tooth brought more pain, and I tried to examine it in the bathroom mirror.  Did it look darker in the middle than my other teeth?  Could it be a cavity that was exacerbated by the chunk of dirt at supper time yesterday?  I decided to call the dentist.  (Mainly because we were supposed to have tacos for supper tonight, and they are my favorite.)  Thankfully, the dentist could fit me in at 3:15.

We went to pick up from preschool our friend who I babysit every afternoon.  Sometime between the bowl of cereal and getting dressed, both Liberty and Mercy had perked up and were laughing, smiling and jumping around with no signs of sickness anywhere, so I didn't worry about infecting our friend.  I needn't have worried anyway.  Little T kept to herself, choosing to color quietly at the table rather than play Lady and The Tramp with Liberty and Mercy.  That was definitely a strange occurrence.  The three of them are usually the three musketeers.  After a while, T went down for a nap, and the other two girls sat at the dining room table putting together their fake gingerbread houses for our town's annual gingerbread house decorating contest.

Finally, it was time to go to the dentist.  I had alternated between eagerness to get the pain to stop and fear at what it might take to get the pain to stop all afternoon.  You know what the dentist told me after poking and prodding his way around?  I had pulled a tendon in my tooth.

Say what?  I've never heard of that before.  It's like a sports injury.  Or a workers comp claim.  My tooth was injured in the line of duty.  Apparently, that clump of dirt had briefly pushed my tooth sideways, stretching the tendon that holds the tooth in place.  The tendon immediately pulled the tooth back to where it belonged, but now that tendon needs time to heal.  Poor heroic tendon, injured in the line of duty.  Sacrificing itself without a second thought, and all for the good of just one in the army of teeth chomping voraciously every day.  What a tendon!  Not all tendons are as brave, you know, so I'm very thankful for mine.

Continuing to unwrap my gifts from God today:

7.  A wonderfully gray and blustery day, perfect for staying home from school and snuggling under the covers.

8.  The happy playfulness of my girls with each other, and their sweet attitudes and helpfulness to me all day.

9.  My potentially serious cracked tooth or root canal (in my own mind) turned out to be a heroic tendon that saved the day and only needs a few days to recuperate on its own.

10.  The children's pastor at my church hand-delivered the new quarter's Sunday School curriculum to my front door, saving me a trip and loads of time!  Thank you, Brian!  That was wonderful.

11.  Mercy is obviously feeling much, much better!
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