The Dixie Satellite

My son, at age 7, is already in some pretty serious orthodontia. Born with a cleft palate (and his father's overcrowding problem) we have to not only manage the growth of his repaired palate to make sure it's growing with him, but we also have to seriously make space in his cute little rosebud mouth for the giant chompers that seem to be sprouting up every day.

We've done the palate expander, and it definitely has helped. I actually see holes in his mouth where once upon a time there was nothing but a wall of teeth. Continuing on the expansion of his mouth and jaw, yesterday he got his reverse-pull headgear.

Bless his little heart.

For those of you who've worn it, headgear is a lesson in humility. I mean, what's more humiliating than looking like a Hannibal Lecter satellite?

The resignation and embarrassment that registers on his face when he puts it on breaks my heart. All that joking around we did, teasing him that he'd look like Saturn...well, it doesn't seem so funny anymore.

(To my sister, Carrie, I'm sorry I teased you about your headgear when we were kids.)

My job is to feel his pain and make him believe this isn't all that bad. It'll be our little secret. Just think, when all the other kids are getting this, they'll be preteens and you'll be done! It will be really hard for them, because no one wants to look like that when they're a preteen! Right?!

He doesn't really know what a preteen is. And honestly, why tell him what to expect? The anticipation would kill the poor kid. He's rough and tough, but he's got a soft, squishy center.

But he's brave and he's strong and he'll overcome this, the first in many, many trials of growing up.

And just think! His mouth will be even bigger soon!

Good for the teeth, maybe not so much for Mom and Dad...


kikbonan said…
Glad to see you have a touch of remorse for all that teasing you did way back when...

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