Ugly Teeth

Little kids have no filter in what they will say about things.  My five year old, Katelyn, always reminds me of that daily.  A few days ago she told me that she wanted to become a dentist and fix people’s teeth.  I asked her why she wanted to do that.

She sat and pondered for a brief moment then stated that she wanted more people to have nice teeth.  She went on to tell me that she wanted to fix her papa’s teeth because they didn’t look very nice.  She sat and thought for a bit, then asked me why was his teeth so ugly.

I told her that her papa, my dad, grew up very poor.  As a kid, going to the dentist meant money being spent.  The only time they went to the dentist was if they absolutely needed it.  She was totally shocked that he didn’t go every so often like she does when he was her age.  Katelyn was very surprised.  My kids have never known poverty.

I went on to tell her how he spent time with his dad combing the dump to find metal scraps and parts to be reused.  She couldn’t believe that he did that as a kid.  I told her that without money, you had to use things that people no longer wanted.  There was no Home Depots around to buy hardware or other building supplies.  She couldn’t believe there were no shopping malls either.

I asked her if she knew how papa got food as a kid.  She stated confidently, “A market!” I said nope, not a market.  My grandparents raised their own food from chickens, pigs, and dairy cows.  Eating chicken meant killing the bird and cleaning it.  She pondered it a bit and asked about the feathers and the blood, to which I confirmed that it was messy.

I asked if she knew how papa got milk.  She didn’t know so I told her that papa’s mom would milk the cows and then boil it before serving it.  They didn’t have a refrigerator back then so milk had to be made daily.

I even told her how my dad didn’t need a toy box either.  Everything he played with was homemade.  He’d even use bits of aluminum foil to make something to play with.  Used tin cans also made a toys too.  Some rope and a bunch of banana stumps could form a raft.  There was no TV or computers back then.

Katelyn was simply amazed to learn about my dad’s childhood.  I asked her if she wanted to live like he did and she said no way.  I asked her why.  Her reply was that she liked having a nice dentist, toys, and a refrigerator.  

It’s funny that little kids can grasp the concept of how hard life was back in the old days.  Too many adults can’t even understand that when life back then was tough and yet is romanticized that it was better.  We have life pretty easy thanks to the hard work of those farmers who are so efficient.  Katelyn, a five year old, got that and even said she felt lucky.  

We are lucky and one would think we would be grateful for it.  Maybe that is a lesson that hasn’t been learned by the people behind the anti-agriculture movement.  What happened to showing thankfulness for what we have?

If the adults can’t model gratitude, what example does that set for the next generation?


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