My youngest granddaughter just lost another tooth. The gap she has in her smile reminds me of a tunnel for a Lionel train set. I’ve been told she already has learned how to suck waffles through it to the other side. There was no remorse, no longing for the baby tooth’s return, just pride in having pulled it herself. Tooth pulling, I guess, is one of the rites of passage into adolescence.
With the tooth removed and shown to all of her second grade class, her prize was put into a special tooth container and carried home to be carefully scrutinized by her parents. That evening at bedtime, Olivia’s tooth was buried under her pillow, ready for the tooth fairy to exchange it for something more tradable like cold cash. She slept through the night certain that the tooth fairy would come and take care of business.
The next morning, with all the confidence a 7 year old can muster, Olivia’s hand reached under her still warm pillow and pulled out her cash reward, just as she knew it would be there waiting for her.
Just like my granddaughter Olivia, we all have hope for another day, for something or someone to fulfill our dreams and expectations. Annie always knew that the sun would come out tomorrow and so far it has, somewhere. We are generally a people of optimism and hope. We may have our cloudy days and maybe our rainy ones but we usually believe that things will get better no matter how serious the situation.
A small section of AN ESSAY ON MAN: EPISTLE I by Alexander Pope tells us this:
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore!
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Alexander Pope suffered from poor health his entire life and was a crippled and diminutive man, standing only 4’ 6”. He was denied much of a formal education and was persecuted because of his and his family’s religion. Given all the negatives in his life, he still advocated that we just don’t know the answers to everything and sometimes we need to rely on hope and faith to carry us forward. Pope had faith in himself and despite adversities in his life pushed on and became a well known poet; one of the most quoted poets of all time and he was an esteemed translator of both the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Just like Pope, we need to have hope and faith in our future but we also need to rely on ourselves to make what we want happen. That tooth may not fall out on its own; it just might need a little help.
Hope springs eternal, just ask any child.