As parents we are very much aware of events in the lives of our children, especially when it comes to signs of them growing up.
We celebrate their first tooth, their first word and their first step. We celebrate their first successful poop in a potty. And then commence to change a thousand soiled underpants thereafter. We celebrate their first day of kindergarten with tears of joy and their last day of high school with unattractive sobbing.
We feel obliged to post Facebook pics of the times when they turn 10, 13, 16 and 21. (There are some other overly proud or severely unbalanced parents who will post everything. Like every award or every accomplishment or every birthday or every soiled nappy…I’m not judging, I’m just pressing the mute button on your feed.)
We do it because these are all milestones reached on a kid’s journey to adulthood.
BUT the one thing I never expected to celebrate was the day when their braces came off…
My kids received a lot of moderate to good genes from the Wife and I. I wouldn’t want to state the obvious and imply who provided the best ones. I think we already know the answer to that question. Other than receiving a mix bag of hair that grow at the speed of light, piercing blue/grey eyes, Hagrid-like length, embarrassing feet, nails that can cut through steel, genius intellect and a mind-blowing sense of humour. They also got some not-so-great teeth. A special git from Dad. (And let’s not forget about the feet shall we. It’s because I love you soooo much!!)
It was evident from an early age that in order for my kids to find a life partner, we would have to spend some money on an orthodontist. What we didn’t expect was to spend a second and third mortgage on the man. He would be, what I liked to call, a wallet rapist. A person with zero consideration for the primal needs of humans i.e to provide food and shelter. If it was up to him, there would be a thousand homeless families as long as the kids have perfect teeth.
The road from crooked to perfect molars has been an arduous one. Filled with complaints, appointments, medication and more complaints. Not too mention what the kids had to endure… Oh and did I mention the bills? For one cannot mention tooth reconstruction without mentioning the cost involved. It would be like talking about Christmas and ignoring Santa.
It’s been three years, eleven months and thirteen days (give or take an hour) since the first wires were glued onto Princess’ teeth and when they were finally removed from Dude’s.
We can now finally plan that long delayed family photo session they’ve blatantly refused to participate in. And I can relax in the notion that both my kids have everything now. Awesome parents and perfect teeth. What more could they ask for?
Jokes aside, I’m really fortunate to have a Dude and a Princess who has no problem displaying their pearly whites. They’re both kids who love life and laugh often. But this zest seemed to have doubled overnight. Maybe it’s the teeth, maybe it’s the fact that they’ve embarked on their summer break. Whatever the reason, I’m utterly blessed to have two smiling, laughing teens in the house.
The sound of their laughter remains THE most exhilarating sound in the universe. It’s a sound that fills me with comfort, peace, joy and a whole lot of love. An appreciation of the gift they are to us.
I pray that they retain their ability to laugh at themselves, at each other, at us and most importantly, with us, for a very long time to come.
I’m also very much aware that we’ve just made kissing easier…