They all know him in that office because he’s grown up in that dental chair. (I remember when most of his entire body fit into the top portion of the big chair; now, he’s so tall that his feet dangle over the edge.) Over the years, this office has evolved into a place filled with dear, family friends. Someone is sure to hug him in there today. Or at least try.
Just like me when I was 16, M wears braces. And as every orthodontist-visiting family knows, biannual teeth cleanings are especially important. (Someday, he’ll appreciate that we fixed his overbite. I’m thankful my parents took care of mine.)
M is a sophomore in high school, and I do understand his eagerness to be a grown-up. (I’m certain that the high-heel clogs I wore when I was 16 had something to do with my aspiration to be an “adult.”)
My parents had to guide me through those difficult years too – always veering me in a different direction when they saw hazards ahead. (And yes, I do consider a severe overbite as a potential hazard that could have led to dental issues later in life. But the clogs…they let that one go. I eventually learned that flat, comfortable shoes are the more sensible choice.)
My parents took their cues from me. Living under their roof, I didn’t drink, do drugs, sneak out of the house, or even be disrespectful. So, they began to let out some of the kite string. Occasionally they needed to reel that kite back in closer to their watchful, yet loving, eyes. (Even in college, they needed to yank on that string…”Academic Probation” once led to an extremely grueling 9 hour car ride back to school.)
Every time I see him flying dangerously wild through life, I’m going to pull on that string. I’m not going to stop until he shows me that it’s safe to let go.
(I love that “kite string” wisdom. It was furnished by a fellow Mother Bear. Thanks, S.)