An Angel Watching Over

Guest post from one of my favorite local bloggers, Leslie Rosenthal, who grew up in Agoura and now resides in the San Fernando Valley. She is a single mom who writes in a way that I think any parent can really relate to.  Check out her blog at

There’s a line in the movie Rocky V where Rocky talks about Mickey being an angel watching over his shoulder and  there is a flashback scene where Mickey says, “If you ever get hurt and you feel that you’re goin’ down this little angel is gonna whisper in your ear. It’s gonna say, ‘Get up you son of a bitch ‘cause Mickey loves you.’ “

I know this because I have seen every Rocky movie  about a zillion times and if you know me, you know that I am a hard-core Rocky addict.

The movie series Rocky is a classic underdog tale where incredible people come into Rocky’s life and make a difference forever.  Mickey, Apollo, Adrian….to name a few.  Perhaps that is why I like it so much. The notion of people making a difference in one’s life.

As you all know, my daughter and Coach Wooden had a special relationship which I have chronicled here before.   It would give me great joy to think that perhaps he is whispering in her ear his infinite wisdom on a daily basis; “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”  Or perhaps he is just reminding her how to tie her shoe laces the right way…or his way.

Today, I think that angel of Coach Wooden might have been present.

I took Shayna out to an unexpected lunch today to where else…yes, our favorite neighborhood coffee shop, VIP’s.  Also known as Coach Wooden’s favorite coffee shop.

It was quiet there and we had the place almost to ourselves. Karen, our favorite server was there and she knew right away what Shayna would want because it was after 12 noon, which is Shayna’s cut off time from cheese eggs and turns into time for a Patty Melt.

When the yummy Patty Melt arrived on rye bread, I had a feeling something might happen. Something big. Something that would make this meal one we would never forget. Shayna just might lose that loose tooth – which would be her first tooth ever.

A few bites in, it happened. Just like I thought. I looked over and the tooth was officially “snaggled” and there was some blood in her mouth. I didn’t say a word to her. I waited. Quietly. Patiently as she chewed on that meat.  And then it happened!

“MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!”  I turned casually to her as she screamed,  “MY TOOTH IS FALLING OUT!”    Everyone stopped in their tracks at VIP’s.   George, the busboy, brought her some ice water. Karen brought her a little “spittoon” bowl.  Tears were welling up in the kid’s eyes as she said to me, “Let’s go in the bathroom and get it out.”

Into the bathroom we went and with big eyes and tears coming down her cheeks she said to me, “Mom, just yank it out and do it fast.”  She was acting so brave. I was just so proud of her.  I grabbed a tissue and carefully grabbed the tooth and without any effort, that sucker popped right out.  My baby girl lost her first tooth.

We exited the bathroom and Shayna went screaming back to her seat to show everyone and a chocolate milkshake appeared before her eyes as a present from George.

And there we were. At Coach’s favorite joint, and celebrating the moment my baby lost her first tooth. Granted it was not a NCAA title game, but this was a big deal.   We called her dad immediately and he showed up within minutes to continue the celebration and to partake in the milkshake.

As we said our good-byes and gave hugs, her dad and I discussed the proper amount for the Tooth Fairy to give tonight.   We parted ways and into the car we went and as usual, I got a little emotional.  OK, OK, it’s a tooth. But it was more than that. It was where she lost the tooth and the notion that Coach was there smiling over us. Not to mention that I was just so glad her Dad and I could share this moment together with her.

With some tears in my eyes I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we all were lucky enough to have an Angel watching over us and shouting in our ear when we needed it most.   Maybe, just maybe, Shayna’s Angel is Coach Wooden.   Although, I have a feeling we might be sharing him with many more out there.

And by the way, the going rate for that first tooth is apparently $20.