I knew it would happen sometime.

“The kids in my group made fun of my teeth. And I can’t do anything to change it, so… yeah.”

So begins my son’s experience in the reality that people suck. In his case, it’s little people. Kids, who might otherwise be pretty nice and decent, often lack some inner monologue and certainly any real tact. Somehow in the middle of a physical activity, some words were let loose which my son had to hear. And he hung on to them all the way until bedtime.

He was right.

My son inherited his teeth from his dad and me, so it’s no wonder his teeth are destined for braces. He also has a baby tooth up front that hangs on for dear life and looks funky next to his adult teeth growing in haphazardly. Nothing he can do about that, though eventually we can have them worked on… though that’ll lead to the new fun of “brace-face.”

He was wrong, too.

Trying to make lemons out of lemonade, last night was a good opportunity for a few reasons:

  • I was an open door to my son’s angst, ready to hear whatever he had to say about how he felt.
  • I was a voice of experience which could stand there, in the flesh, to prove that words don’t have to have a lasting effect.
  • I was a redirect to focus him from what he can’t control (his teeth) to what he can (his inner workings and attitudes about what was said to him).

He was honest.

“Mom, that doesn’t help.”

Okay. I think that’s probably true in the immediacy of how he was made to feel. But I still think all of the above might have planted a seed that will serve him well in the disappointments yet to come.

Because, no matter what happens in this world or how my son’s teeth improve, two truths remain.

People suck, and dentistry is a very secure field.


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