Crooked Teeth and Christmas Lights
The boy you see up there was the center of the beginning of the week.
Not that I didn’t pay any attention to the other two still living in the house. They got their fair share. Theirs just had to wait until after they got home from school.
No . . . the little boy up there had to go to the dentist because, for the second time, he’s had a tooth coming in on top of another tooth. If you’re a little boy, I suppose it’s kinda cool, like a shark’s tooth. “I get two rows of teeth that way!” But . . . no. Unlike a shark, this isn’t cartilage and it doesn’t grow back if something goes wrong.
This day, as a result, I decided it was time to get my son to the dentist, which caused him great consternation. It wasn’t that he was visiting the dentist it was the amount of homework and extra work he’d receive since he wasn’t in school. My response was that most kids would kill to have a day to play hookie.
We managed the dentist with no problems and got what I expected – a referral to an orthodontist. I informed my son that we’d likely be eating lots of mac and cheese or breakfast for dinner in January in order to pay for the Christmas presents and the braces I know are coming for my son.
After the dentist my son wanted, desperately, to get the lights on the house. As stressed and exhausted as I was, it seemed a decent idea so we did it. For the first time the boy climbed the ladder and went on the roof of the house to help. Bear in mind, the shark-toothed boy is scared of anything dangerous or exciting. Roller coasters completely terrify him. So does parachuting, bungee jumping, heights and any other number of normal thrill-seeking things. He can’t even stand it when I take a curve too fast in the car.
Yet here he was, after being told his teeth will have to be moved by braces so they can all come in properly, standing on the roof of our house. He stretched out lights and handed me gutter clips to hold the lights up and watched as I leaned over the roof to put nails in the eaves in order to hang the lights. He felt pride in having been able to climb the ladder and stand on the roof and do all this.
This has been a year of change for all of us. He’s learned how to install a car radio and fix a bed and do some basic woodworking. He’s made his own desserts and cooked lunch and done a myriad of things. Essentially, he’s gaining skills for life without my having to press them upon him.
After hanging all the lights, cooking dinner, helping with homework, cleaning up and finishing the inside decorations it was past the kids’ bed times. I sat down on the couch, having stayed home to take care of him and realized something . . .
I did more work staying home than if I’d actually gone to work.