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Brace Yourself




My little bean went to the orthodontist on Monday and had her braces put on. As we move into adolescence with my little buddy, I find myself longing for the days when she was four or five years old. Sometimes, when I look at her, I still see my little squinty-faced toddler. However, I see the intelligent, brave, strong, and beautiful young woman she is to become more often than not. I was not prepared for this passage of time and the longing it creates.


When Jordan was an infant, many people told me to enjoy her because it will pass quickly. The truth of this statement was wasted on me. I was so caught up in the day-to-day life of taking care of her; it did not factor into my mindset. We received so many gifts when she was born. I remember looking at her 3-6 months outfits and thinking, "Oh, she will never be big enough to fit into that." Ultimately, she did fit into them, and then I would look at the next step in size and think the same thing. As the years have moved on, I find myself wishing I could go back to those days of infancy and again hold her for 14-18 hours a day. On the flip side, The Bibbed Wonder has no desire to go back to the infancy stage.


Eric loves not having to pack everything but the kitchen sink to go to the store or GramBarb's house for an evening. As she has gotten older, the two of them enjoy things like camping, hunting, and going on breakfast dates every other week. The Bean has developed quite the personality and sense of humor, which her daddy enjoys to no end. Although he is struggling with the idea of her leaving home and someday going on a date, for the most part, he is thrilled with each stage of growth and independence. No, there is not an ounce of longing in that bib overall wearing wonder buns.


Getting braces has been somewhat of a big deal in our home. Thank the heaven's above; The Bean has become diligent about dental care. She brushes her teeth no less than three times a day often; it is four or five. I fluctuate between thinking she looks older and then thinking she looks younger with her new hardware. The Bean is not in love with this new addition and symbol of growing up. To be honest, I am a bit taken aback at what a baby she is over her teeth and the braces. She does not complain about pain, but one would swear her teeth are being pulled out with the amount of drama we are experiencing. There is a steady stream of ibuprofen being consumed and a lot of wax being ingested, along with a lot of complaining.


I did three years of adult orthodontics and even had my jaw wired shut for six weeks about a decade ago. This experience is still fresh in my memory, so I understand what she is experiencing. I am just surprised at the level of drama she is displaying. She is not usually one to complain. However, I feel as though there are few things more aggravating than a sore mouth or a toothache. I am doing my best to be supportive, but I have so many jokes and one-liners running through my head, I question my appropriateness as a mother. I know my talent for humor will be wasted and, dare I say, even frowned upon, so I keep my comments to myself and am patiently waiting for the time when The Bean will perhaps find me funny. Sadly, with adolescence, there seems to be a loss of appreciation for my "mom humor." Sigh, if only we could turn back time to the days when she thought every joke I made was funny and she hung on every word I said.


I hope, dear reader, you can enjoy the moment and appreciate each phase of your journey. I also hope those around you appreciate your humor; it is a shame to waste good wisecracks. As always, stay safe, be smart, at least make yourself giggle, and of course, wash your hands.

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