Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Sharp Teeth of Time

I underwent a profound shift in my perception of myself recently: I am now the parent of a child old enough to need orthodontic treatment.

Here's my big girl and her pretty smile, a bit strained from the new stresses of her expander but still game.

I feel like my life is one broad continuum, over which I can look back and see my current self in each situation. But her glasses and her braces are startling external reminders that time is slipping away. Everything is changing and moving. She isn't growing away from me, but her mind is expanding and broadening, like the universe, and I'm catching more glimpses of a rich interior life and a new adolescent sensitivity. At the same time, she still has a child-like trust in me. This is such a time of wonder: when understanding is still unjaded; when parents are still propellers, not anchors; when she still sees the world through my eyes as much as through hers. I want to always maintain this sweet and easy relationship we have now.

And I want her to keep track of the key for turning the expander, which we only got three days ago, for Pete's sake, and how can it already be lost? 


Matthew Lickona said...

Sounds like it's time for another verse in that poem!

John Farrell said...

"Time just gets away from us..." Both my girls have to wear retainers now at night, with braces to come.

Jenny said...

Grace had a palate expander last year. What kind of key did you get? Is it loose or attached to a big plastic stick? Ours was attached to plastic and we kept it in the toothbrush jar. Let me warn you, keeping that turning thing clean is harder than you think. She's probably going to need help every now and again.

My 'wow, I'm getting old' moment is coming later today when Grace has her first eye appointment. She started complaining about distance vision a few months ago and it's time to bite the bullet before school starts again. Wasn't she supposed to get my husband's vision? His of the 20/15 variety instead of mine of the can't see the bedside clock variety. Maybe the other children will be luckier.

Rebekka said...

Just wait until she starts losing her retainers. I think I lost 3 of them back in the day, the craziest was one that disappeared from the dashboard of my dad's pickup, and which was found many years later inside the ventilation system. It'd apparently fallen down one of the defroster vents up front. Yum.

JMB said...

Those @%#$% retainers! I actually had to dumpster dive for my son's retainer at a local restaurant. Don't let them wear a retainer out to dinner ever. Lesson learned. Our insurance (at the time) covered one lost retainer per year. Sniff sniff.

nicole said...

Our brilliant dentist also does orthodontic work. And he has us bring in our daughter for a turn on the expander every couple of weeks! No tortured turning for the parents, no key to get lost.

I love your words about your relationship.

Anonymous said...

Pray to St. Anthony!

Serendipity said...

Nooooo not orthdontic work!!!! Urgh.

When I have children, unless they can't physically eat, they aren't having them. I've had the absolute worst experience with orthodontics. 7 and a half years, and counting. I'm an adult now; it's downright embarrassing to go in the office with the young kids. And of course, God only knows when I'll get the danged things off. Sigh.....I pray your girl's teeth move quickly