My current plight is sending my mind back in time to long ago....nearly 30 years.....when I was the almost-teenager getting my braces on. And it's making me kind of sad, because I'm feeling suddenly like I need to apologize to my mom. I know exactly how awkward and grouchy Cap feels, because that's exactly how awkward and grouchy I felt. It's like your whole face becomes nothing but your giant lips, which are protruding out in a very unfamiliar way due to the painful chunks of metal that were just glued onto your teeth. Glued! Isn't that something that you've always been told to keep OUT of your mouth? It's just a miserable experience. I clearly remember that my mom, sweet lady, wanted to do something to celebrate the day, to find something to cheer me. She printed up on our very fancy computer a little card that said, (I will NEVER forget this....), "Rachel is Sweet, Rachel's Petite, Now Her Teeth Will Be So Neat." She used a card-printing format on Word or whatever the processing program was called in the mid-80's. She picked out a little rose-lattice border and a blocky font that printed up in pixelated gray-scale glory. Sweet, right? Well guess what. I was 13. I was horrible, and I didn't think it was sweet. I was absolutely enraged because she had called me petite. I hated being called short. I took great offense at her use of the label. I believe I even snapped at her and stormed out of the car in a great big fat huff, the door of the Volvo slamming shut with a very satisfying thunk.
Mom, sorry about that. I should have seen that note for what it was - pure love. You were trying to make me feel special, and I was horrid. You didn't even chase me down and holler at me like I clearly deserved. You just let me go storm away while you probably did something like cook dinner for the whole family. It's going to be hard to get through to you now but maybe you can feel a subtle shift, a little warming in the air that is the repentance your daughter is making for a long-ago wrong. Thanks for the note, mom. I love you. And thanks for the braces. Those are expensive, and I'm grateful I had them.
Hopefully that little memory will help me be slightly more patient with my son as he works through these rotten months of changes. Cap, my boy, you've never been horrid. Thanks for that. Your teeth are going to look great. Look at that cute face....
What a good kid to put up with me taking pictures!