just letters

what dental hygiene school is like

dear silly girl,

we’ve been getting ready and battling for this time in our lives for a few years now, and it’s finally here.

and i. am. exhausted.

hygiene school is like being given a semester’s worth of information each class, every single day, while also being blind-folded and spun in circles. it is a whirlwind. 

to quote the dentist that is my head and neck anatomy professor, “this is the pace. it’s the same pace as dental school. you’re going to have to acclimate to it because this is how it’s going to be.”

i am in 5 classes, but it feels like 8. i go to school 4 days a week and then am required to do community service, professional meetings, and continuing education classes outside of school. 

i have 5 projects in one class this semester alone. 

i spent last thursday after school in the bed. i didn’t get up unless i had to pee. by thursday afternoon, i’m so tired i want to cry. 

but i can’t sleep. too much information is floating around in my head. 


i took you with me into my building at school to drop off some paperwork before my program started. you had to potty so we made a pit-stop in the ladies’ room. there was a chair sitting beside the door inside and you asked why it was there.

so when we need to cry, we can do so in private. 

now i know just how un-funny my joke really was. 


every morning when i drop you off at gran’s, i get the same sweet, pitiful, heart-wrenching speech.

mama, will you sit with me for a little while.

of course i will, honey.

30 minutes later.

i have to go, baby. i’ll be right back as soon as school is over. you won’t even miss me.

mama, can you stay just 5 more minutes. {you say this while petting my jacket or twirling a piece of my hair.}

i can stay 5 more minutes, but then i really have to go, okay?

5 minutes later.

i’ve got to go, sweetie. gran will take good care of you while i’m gone. i’ll be back so fast you won’t even realize i left.

mama, can you stay with me for just a minute?

i can’t this time, sweetpea. i’ll be late.

mama, i don’t want you to go. i want you to stay with me and play.

trust me, i’d rather stay with you and play, too. i’ll be right back, though, i promise.

{insert tears, snot, begging, bargaining, and the rest of the stages of grief}

i finally get in my car and cry all the way to school.

i tell daddy that i’m just going to quit school and stay with you and we’ll just have to be fine with it.

he tells me i’m not allowed to do that and that you will be just fine.

and i know he’s right. i call to check on you when i get to school and gran always tell me that you quit crying as soon as i was out the door. 

but it still breaks my heart.

i miss you all. stinking. day.

i am constantly in a battle with myself about leaving you.

i know going to school is what i should do, but you are my real achievement. you are my world.

i hope one day all of this was worth it to you, too. i hope when i send you off to college you realize that it was possible because of what i’m doing now, when college is so far off that it isn’t even tangible. 

and i hope i can survive this program without being put in a mental institution. 

if the latter is impossible, please bring me treats. chocolate ones, preferably. 

i love you.





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