Calapooia Dental - May 2019

Thank You, Mom! HONORING MY BIGGEST SUPPORTER

Brian R. Summers DMD, PhD Patrick V. Hagerty, DMD

Calapooia Courier May 2019

When you’re a parent, you try to provide your children with opportunities that you never had growing up. My mother was practically the spokesperson for this approach to parenthood. When she was younger, my mom had a hard life. Dental and medical care were not as readily available to her, and sadly, her mouth suffered for it. But instead of dwelling on what happened, she vowed to make sure my life was different. When my mom had me, she worked hard to guarantee that I had the best health care and dental work available. I never had to worry about treatments or the pain I may have been in, because my mom made sure I had what I needed. To this day, I believe she was a big component of why I’m so committed to my mental and physical well-being. My mom was my biggest supporter when I was growing up, and she still champions me in everything I do. In fact, Mom always says that I give the best injections ever and am the nicest dentist she’s ever met — I swear she’s not just saying that because I’m her son! Even when she was living in Salem and I was living in Eugene, Mom made sure I knew that I was supported from afar. She attended all my baseball games and track meets because she is the kind of mom who is there for you no matter what you do or how far away she lives. Ultimately, Mom taught me the value of putting family first. To her, there is nothing more important than family, even when distance keeps you apart. Now, as a parent myself, I use the lessons my mom taught me every day when parenting my daughter and son. She was, and still is, a

big advocate for helping people understand that children aren’t born mischievous or evil. Instead, my mom sees kids as these sweet little people who don’t mean to harm others when they do something wrong. Admittedly, it’s sometimes hard for me not to sweat the small stuff, but taking a cue from my easygoing mom, I’ve learned that the mistakes children make are not worth panicking over. Whenever one of my kids spills something or makes a mess, I step back and remind myself that they are not 25. They are only nearly 1 and 5, and as kids, they mess up, spilled jelly isn’t the end of the world. Now as a grandma, my mom thrives in her role. She lives down in Arizona, and while we don’t get to see her as much, it’s so fun to watch her be a grandma to my kids when she visits. Mom loves and adores those kids more than anyone I know, and she’s not afraid to get down on the ground to color with my daughter or read to my son. We always get sad when she leaves, but true to the commitment she has always had for our family, she never misses an opportunity to come up and visit. While we don’t have any grand Mother’s Day traditions, I’m thankful to have been raised by a woman who was committed to making my life as great as it could be. I couldn’t be prouder to be her son. After all, she laid the foundation that helped motivate the nicest dentist she’s ever met. -Dr. Brian Summers

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