Today I took the Boy-Child in for braces.

This shouldn’t have been a big deal, afterall, almost all kids get braces nowadays.  For some reason, this tore me up.

Here’s the kicker:  Boy-Child has pretty teeth.  His adult teeth have come in mostly straight, no gaps, and, well, pretty.  I have been being assured by our dentist (remind me to find a new dentist) that his teeth looked good.

Take note… Orthodontia isn’t just about having straight teeth.  It’s more about your jaw and bite.  Come to find out, Boy-child’s jaw was more jacked up than the Titanic after the iceburg incident.

I should have known!  How did I miss this?  We almost waited too late to fix it all before all the rest of his adult teeth start growing in through his eye-sockets and arm pits!!  (For the record, I’m pretty sure that his orthodontist did not say that would happen, but that is what my brain concluded, none-the-less.)

I had almost no time to digest the news that my child’s mouth would soon resemble the equipment line of a bottling factory before they had my baby laid back and were spending over two hours poking, glueing, and yanking in his pretty little mouth.

I usually pride myself in handling difficult situations with poise and grace.  Like, when Boy-Child was hospitalized last spring; I was the cool, calm, collected mom.  Not today.  Today I found myself doubled over in the hallway hyperventilating and sobbing like Justin and Selena had just broken up again.

I don’t know why this is sugh a big emotional hill for me.  Is it that I just hadn’t mentally considered that he would need braces?  After 7+ years of thumbsucking like it’s an Olympic sport I’m pretty sure I’d pass out from shock if the Girl-Child DIDN’T need railroad tracks all through her mouth to be able to eat as an adult.

I think it’s because I just registered him for middle school.  I think it’s because he’s looking, acting, and talking like a little man.  He catches inuendos and double entendres.  He stays home alone.  He has a social life.  And now he has the official metal stamp of adolescence splashed right across his teeth.

I prayed for this child.  I used drugs to get pregnant with this child.  I cried all night in a hospital when my placenta started to tear and I was only 18 weeks along.  I was in the hospital to stop labor at 22 weeks and again at 24 weeks.  I took drugs ward off contractions for the rest of the pregnancy.  I rocked him, sang to him, bathed him, held him, taught him, laughed with him, read countless books learning to raise him… And what does he do to thank me?  He grows up. 

He laid there in the chair. Being his mysteriously quiet, yet devilishly handsome, self while getting his braces.  Over and over the staff complemented him on his laid-back, easy, demeaner.  Meanwhile I was choking back the vomit and the buckets of tears.

I’m not ready for braces, or pimples, or facial hair, or girlfriends, or college, or ***GASP*** him moving out!  I… can’t… breathe…

He is beautiful with a metal mouth.  He is beautiful inside and out.  He is perfectly imperfect and he is still my baby.

I need to invest in a shipment of valium from Mexico before he really becomes a teenager!

~~Delaney Rhea



10 thoughts on “Brace youself!

  1. O sweetheart, I know,I know, I know. My youngest child needed an appliance in his mouth first, we were in the orthos office every week for four months with problems, he handled much better than I. Now my first is off to college, sometimes I choke back the tears for the innocence lost but know this is exactly what God intended.


  2. Delaney, This goes with the territory. Thank God he didn’t object to them! I know how you feel because I too felt that way when my little boys started to become men. It is really bittersweet isn’t it. You are a wonderful mom. You are lucky to have both of them and they are lucky to have you and Geoff! Enjoy these times. Pack in the valium for the driver’s permit. I got my kids driving lessons and permits at 16. This was their birthday present. They drove for one year with me in the car or Tim, I remember the sheer panic I felt the first time each of them had the car out by themselves. We have to let them grow up. Making sure you have taught the lessons they need is your best defense against the mean old world.


  3. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t help that the dentist that he (AND I!) went to is a complete dufus. (I’m convinced he got his dental license out of a Cracker Jack box…)
    I’m sure B did great, and you have so much to be proud of. Your family is awesome!!! Let me guess,….. Steelers colors for the bands?


    1. Lynn- I think the worst is over, but he’s starting to have soreness now. He almost went with Steelers colors, but that is yellow and black- both look like tooth decay!! LOL So he went with Cubs colors: Red and blue.


  4. Have I told you how much I adore you and your silliness???? Congratulations on getting through the day. I’ll have to tell you about our experience in that chair when they had to shut done the office b/c my daughter tried to fight them off and rip her new braces off. That’s a story I’ll share after a bottle of wine (or two…). Brandi

    Sent from my iPhone


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