Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Dog Ate My...Retainer?

I bought another orthodontics office today. Well, I don't actually own any, but our orthodontist just opened his third office and I'm pretty sure he was able to do that through our generous "donations". That and the uncanny ability of Justice to ruin his retainers.

His first retainer went AWOL during a Fourth of July celebration a couple years ago. Of course we found it riding in the cup holder of a folding lawn chair a couple weeks later--right after we paid to have a second one made. The replacement model lasted a few weeks into football season when Justice forgot to remove it for practice and kept it "safe" by sticking it in his cleat. (Sigh.)

He tranisitioned to only wearing the metal monster at nights, so I thought we were home free. We made it over a year with the same appliance, until over Christmas break he neglected to remove it when he got up, placed it on the floor beside him while he played PlayStation, and the dog mistook it for her chew toy. (And no, that doesn't have anything to do with the last post.)

So the cycle goes: He demolishes the retainer which he hates, but is for his own good. I replace the retainer, because much too much time, money and effort have gone into his mouth to give up now. (And in case you wondered, he is footing the bill for this one.) It makes me wonder why I spend so much time, money and effort on things that don't seem to last. Why do I make my kids go to church when they don't want to? Why do I require them to write thank you notes for their birthday and Christmas gifts? Why do I limit their TV time and time on the computer? Why do I sneak veggies into their food any chance I get? Because it is what they need. Because it is good for them. Because I'm the mom.

My trip to the orthodontist today reminded me of a quote from Mother Teresa: God does not call us to be successful; He calls us to be obedient. So I keep getting them up on Sunday mornings. I keep requiring thank yous to be written (I did allow Justice to send his friends' via Facebook this year). I keep track of their time on the screens and puree the cauliflower for mashed potatoes. Why? Because I'm the MOM and it what's best for them. And because I happen to believe that MY obedience will lead to THEIR success.

What about you? What do you need to persevere at today?

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