I was loved back then and the same people that loved me then love me still. Some are gone of course, but I trust they still come around and accept me despite their graduate status.
One thing that was not available to me was dental care beyond the basics. It hasn’t turned out so bad really; I have a handful of fillings now later in life. But the word orthodontics was unknown in our house, at least I had never heard of the word until many years later. I have paid for orthodontics, writing check after check for my kids. Tomorrow my day comes. At 55 years of age I will have a set of braces placed on my teeth. It happens tomorrow morning (Wednesday). Our blog friend Leonard Leonard said I should write about this. I was hesitant. I am a little modest about my teeth I suppose. They are well taken care of, clean and white. The bottom ones are more crooked than the top. Most of the time when I smile and show only top teeth it looks normal for a baby boomer I suppose.
Still writing about something so personal seemed difficult for me so I decided not to do so.
I changed my mind this morning.
Isn’t it interesting the way that small things we say to one another can have such a dramatic impact? We talk a lot of nonsense to one another, particularly bloggers, but every now and then someone will say something to you that makes a bullseye. Not the type bullseye that Warren Buffett describes. He says too often we shoot the arrow and then walk up and draw a circle around the arrow, then draw great comfort in our shooting accuracy. Instead I am talking about a true bullseye, a comment that hits the mark of our consciousness and strikes deep, sometimes good and sometimes ill.
That happened to me this morning and it created the springboard for me to be able to write about this experience in my life. The comment came from my little brown eyed girl here at home. We were talking about the details of the event; sore mouth, sore teeth and pain killers. She stood looking at me for a second longer than my instincts might expect her to and then she said, “You know, I think I am going to miss that crooked little smile of yours.”
The power of this statement didn’t hit me for a while, but when it did I knew I needed to write about it. For me it meant unconditional love was surrounding me. Isn’t this what we all seek? To know that we are loved despite our imperfections? To know that someone loves us so much that our imperfections are not only forgiven, but possibly even incorporated into the base equation for that acceptance and love? For me it turned into a spiritual signal moment
To feel her love despite my imperfections, and to have it expressed in such a disarming and simple fashion, this was my gift from the brown eyed girl today. It’s priceless to me.
Someone said grown men don’t cry?
Sometimes the man with the crooked smile does.