Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I love these teeth.

(Yes. I also insanely adore the girl attached to them, but for today, I’m focusing on the teeth.)

(Cue the violin. I’m getting maudlin about teeth.)

But come on…this is a perfect nine-year-old mouth. (Okay, maybe she needed braces at eight and her teeth should be straight by now, but that just seemed too early to me. And she’s just barely nine.)

If you think about it, through the blessings of modern orthodontia, kids these days have these crazy teeth for such a short time. There’s something about Caroline and her teeth that broadcast to me that she’s still a little girl. She hasn’t gotten old enough to get self-conscious and fixed and all metal-y.

Tomorrow, she’ll get all metal-y.

And I, in my sappy, sentimental way, will be sad, because it will age her just a little bit, and she’ll LOOK like a bigger kid than she probably is.

Yes, I want my kids to grow up.

And yes, I want my kids to stay young forever.

And yes, I am thrilled we’ll be yanking those sky-high teeth down to be in line with the others, and yes, she is pretty, and she deserves nice, straight teeth, but a big part of me remembers how I’d rub those gums when the little baby teeth were breaking through, or how I’d search high and low for silver dollars so the Tooth Fairy could do her job well. I can't forget the Christmas those two front teeth had fallen out and we so appropriately sang, "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" over and over and over. And over.

I miss that little girl with pigtails, and I miss those days when life revolved around the Wiggles and ice cream. It just gets more complicated when they get older, and the braces tell me it’s about to get a heck of a lot more complicated, and I love that little girl, who really, in the end, wasn’t that complicated at all. And I love the bigger girl just as much, and I’m excited as I watch her change and grow, but there’s a very dysfunctional part of me that can look at a picture of her at three years old with all her little chiclet baby teeth intact and burst into tears.

Dramatic? Perhaps. I don’t really believe she’ll get braces and then ask for the keys to the car, or sneak beer, or (I can barely say it) date.

But braces offer undeniable proof that she’s getting older. Which is good. And bad. And happy. And sad. Which makes me a certifiable nut. Or just a mom.

They’re going to have to sedate ME tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Braces are such a sign of growing up. I share your feelings of sadness.