Life With Nine Kids

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Helping People

At the pediatric dentist office today I noticed a woman looking at me. She saw me bustling between my kids and their dental chairs.  I'm used to being stared at. With between 6 to 9 kids in tow at any given time we get stared at just about everywhere we go. She was with her three year old boy and I presumed the man with her was her husband. She looked like life might be hard right now.

As I was checking out with one of the receptionists the woman and her husband were reviewing a treatment plan near me. Apparently our dentist said he could do their child's dental work right then. It appeared this was their first time there. The front desk had printed up the paperwork for them and went over fees. The man had zoned out. His wife yelled at him, "Are you paying attention?! Are you listening? This is important!" It was me staring at them this time. I noticed he was totally not paying attention. He looked as if he was in a trance. He said he was listening but that it didn't matter because they couldn't afford it anyway. He curtly told the front desk they couldn't do it and he told his wife they needed to leave. The mom desperately persisted, "The infection is almost to the tooth pulp!" He again insisted that they didn't have the money. Then they began to argue. It got louder and louder. They loudly discussed credit options but he quickly shut those down for various reasons. Everything got awkward. The other receptionist who was scheduling a handful of future appointments for me didn't pause whatsoever. She talked loudly over them. I couldn't focus at all. I felt myself getting warm and flushed. My heart started to race. A voice inside me told me to do something.

Ricky had told me to watch what I spent this month. We are so tight this month. We will be pretty tight for the next few months. We replaced our central air and heat this spring. Our passenger van needed a new transmission. Ricky needed a new vehicle shortly thereafter. He bought a gem of a used 1995 truck with hardly any miles on it. (We always buy used.) We have five kids enrolled in gymnastics (one is in competitive gymnastics). I am having a little trouble putting gas in my van this month because we are SO busy and my van is fairly expensive to drive. We have six kid birthdays in three months. Charlotte just started college. (Though she pays that, she still lives at home and we help her with incidentals and medical/dental of course.) We have a clogged main line to our septic tank. (I just discovered that this morning!!) I have no idea what it will cost or what the real issue is. But one thing I do know: this month, next month, and the month after, I know for pretty much certain that our kids will all have fixed teeth and food on the table. They will probably still go to gymnastics unless something really, really bad happens, and then toward the end of this year they will wake up to presents under the Christmas tree.
God, we are so blessed. Seriously. 

"Do something, it will be okay" is what I kept hearing in my head. I walked over to them and said I'd pay for it. I had previously overheard it probably was around $200.00. I asked the front desk how much it was total. The mom dropped her jaw and quickly said, "Thank you!" She really sounded relieved. The dad was quiet for a moment and then said thank you while introducing himself to me. I suddenly felt like I was a guardian angel. Like God spoke to me to help them. Something told me deep down everything would work out. The amount scared me a little, $230.00. I said it was fine. I knew I'd figure something out. I knew Ricky would understand. The man then said he could pay half of the cost and that was fair to me because he could pay that much. This was an amazing gesture. He did the right thing to meet me halfway. I was so relieved. Had it been seven months ago I would have insisted I just help them with the full amount. Right now though we're a little tight, but certainly not 'we can't fix our child's teeth' tight. 

We split the bill.

I took my receipt and the family thanked me again as they then paid their portion. I gathered up my crew of kids who had all been either watching me or ransacking the prize bins. As I was walking out the door the hygienist came out and said she needed to talk to me for a second. Our dentist wanted to help out. He heard what I had done and wanted us to be refunded. He would instead cover the portion that I paid for them. I was given a new receipt that said my bank account had now been refunded! Wow.

I believe guardian angels can be beings on Earth. We all hold the power to watch over people, change lives, and bless people. 


Kimberly said...

I was completely ready, mid-story, to send you a check for this - I'm thrilled that the dentist did that, and yay for the little kid getting the dental help he needed!


I love this story so much - thank you for sharing it!

Mom of a bunch of great kids... said...

(((hugs))) You are one of the most giving people I've ever known! That is exactly how I describe you by the way. I want to be like you when I grow up. xoxoxo Now that we got that septic issue fixed I can breathe again. :)I'm glad you enjoyed my story, it was such a great feeling!

Rebecca said...

How sad they could not afford it. You are so sweet to do that. The dentist seems kind, too. What did Ricky say in the end?

Nicole said...

I love this so much! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

Mom of a bunch of great kids... said...

Ricky was 100% supportive! :)