Why did my beautiful daughter have to inherit my mouth, so that she had to go through the pain and torture of braces? Ted has PERFECT teeth, not a cavity, straight and pretty and perfect (except for the few he knocked out in a motorcycle accident).

And why did she have to inherit my eyes, so that she now needs to have glasses? Ted has pretty darned good eyes, no glasses until his mid 20s. Still way better than mine in the prescription department.

Me? Full on braces, headgear, whole shebang. I swear, they were (ALMOST) worse than childbirth, because I had to keep going back and having pain again every three weeks. She got 1/2 and 1/2, I guess, because she didn’t need them on the bottom teeth, just the top ones. And with the glasses, my eyes were so bad, I didn’t have any depth perception (one optomotrist thinks maybe due to a hard fall when I was young, but I kinda think I fell a lot because of the depth perception, so who knows), and I had to wear them forever, and I refused, ‘losing’ them behind my best friend’s appliances, repeatedly. And now, I have the stupid contact lenses, without which I’m pretty much blind. So again, her eyes aren’t as bad as mine. This year when I took her in for her check up, they said we should get them looked at by an optomotrist. Ted took her yesterday, and yup, she needs glasses. CRAP. Thankfully, her eyes are not nearly so bad as mine, so at least for now, she only needs to wear them when she needs to see something far, like the chalk board or whatever.

The thing is, why do I FEEL this so much? Why is her pain so much my pain? Why do I have to go through all of this crap over again? Wasn’t once enough? I wish I were the kind of parent who could just say, “Suck it up and soldier on, there are worse things in the world…like NOT having these things available to help you”. But I can’t. I remember getting teased for these things, I remember how ugly I felt because of them. And I don’t want her to go through that. And I’m dreading her getting her period…because I don’t want her to have to go through the misery and confusion of mood swings and cramps. It’s like her pain is my pain. Why why why?  (I kinda sound like Nancy Kerrigan here, don’t I?)

At least she doesn’t have to wear corrective shoes…like I did. My poor mom. Too bad we weren’t rich…with no insurance, and being a single parent, having a kid with braces, corrective shoes, and glasses that kept disappearing must have been hard indeed. Sorry, Mom.

Clarification: Lots of comments mentioning the braces…she’s (hopefully) finished with those.  (Depends on how her teeth come in, etc.) She took them in stride, as she is the glasses.  She’s not happy with them, but she’s not as upset as I expected her to be.  She was hugging me yesterday, and with a sad voice said, “Mama, I don’t want to get glasses….”  That’s what started me off…that and remembering the teasing…blech.

18 thoughts on “Why?

  1. we honestly contemplated not having kids so we wouldn’t have to watch them go through the pain of growing up! h has my teeth and i had braces 5 times as well as reconstrucive maxillofacial surgery. yay! at least we’ll be the most sensitive parents we can be in the situation since we’ve been there and remember it with great clarity.

  2. If you believe that adversity build character, then Maya is going to rule. I, too, have been what you’ve been through with glasses and braces. I felt so ugly and such a victim of an unfair world! Of course, as an adult, I see how lucky I was to have such things, but at the time it was difficult.

    Maya will do great because you can empathize with her plight and keep it in perspective for her. And the results will be worth it all.

  3. I went through the braces thing and can totally relate. But you know what? It was worth it. Maya may not realize it now but 10 years down the road when she’s an adult, she’ll (hopefully) really appreciate her beautiful teeth. (Wow I sound like an old lady). What I’m trying to say is that I’d much rather have braces as a kid than as an adult. Now the period thing…good luck! That never improves 🙁

  4. It’s absolutely amazing to me how much you hurt for your kids when something doesn’t go the way you/they want it to go.

    The good news is that everyone practically has braces these days. I never got picked on when I had mine, and glasses these days can be pretty cool looking too.

    And, if she has problems, at least you’ll know how to help her because you’ve been there yourself.

  5. I thought she looked very pretty with the glasses she picked! 🙂

    The braces are a temp thing, and now that she’s just wearing the neck gear every now and then, her issue with crooked teeth has almost been corrected. I say “almost” because she doesn’t wear the neck gear 3 times a week like her Ortho say she should.

  6. All of this will just make Maya a stronger person. If life were easy and pie, then there’s no building of character. It’s good that Maya has braces now. Potential problems as an adult can come up if things are not fixed at a young age. Case in point, I had to wear braces when I was 30 and had to have teeth pulled. It was not so I can have beautiful, straight teeth, it was to correct a medical problem in my jaw. Talk about a humbling experience, walking around with a mouth full of metal and missing teeth.

    Don’t worry, all of life’s challenges will make Maya into a beautiful, strong, well-rounded person. It’s the protective Mama in you that’s coming out right now 😉

    And yes, periods do suck!

  7. My guess is that you’ve already given Maya so much in the way of emotional and spiritual strength that she’ll take the glasses and braces in stride. Plus, braces these days are much less difficult to endure and they’re so common. Glasses are a pain in the butt but they can also be cute.

    Hormones… maybe meditation… or lots of chocolate…

  8. Your empathy is awesome.

    You know what, though? Maya might not be in pain over this at all, or at least, not to the degree that you feel. I remember thinking it was cool when I got glasses. She can get a pair of groovy frames. 🙂

    And as for braces, they’re a pain, but I think almost all kids get them now, so it’s not anything that she’ll likely be teased about.

    Don’t fret! You’ve got a great kid with a good head on her shoulders, and I suspect that has something to do with her having a stellar mommy!

  9. Yup, glasses suck. But right now they are a hot fashion accessory, so just get her a hip looking pair and she will be quite the fashionista!

    I have no advice for the period thing, my mom never even really spoke to me about it, but I did ok since I knew what to expect.

  10. I know how you feel J. I don’t like seeing Zoe uncomfortable either. I dread the big day when she starts her period too. I hope she has an easier time. I bet Maya will be just fine. It’s totally normal to feel this way when you are a mother! 🙂

  11. It’s overwhelming sometimes, I know. But you both will get through it. I feel like i need to hug YOU more than her. So, how about I hug you both on Friday 😀 And as far as the period thing? It happened in our house. Not so much as a fuss. AND get this, she doesn’t get cramps. WTF???

  12. You know what J? You have a beautiful girl even with braces and a cool pair of specs, she’s a stunner! Braces come off and there is always Lasik or contacts if you despise glasses like this old blind bat.

  13. In a couple of years you can get her contacts and she will do fine. I had glasses at 12 and I only have to wear them when I am at a great distance from something. She will be fine, just give her time.

  14. You are so much more tender hearted than I was! Now I feel like a heartless mom, since I did have some empathy but I certainly don’t remember being that concerned.

  15. You feel it because you don’t want Maya to feel the same things.

    I was there too.

    I don’t want that for my kids. But chances are more than good that they will go through braces and glasses – hub and I both did.

  16. Her teeth are beautiful now and as far as glasses, her cousins welcome her to the glasses club. Later they will teach her how to put in contacts.

  17. Those corrective shoes were something. Being my parents’ first child and being born during their lean years I shake my head when my mother mentions how much they paid for those corrective shoes (and a new pair every time I outgrew).

    And I had braces for about 6 years, but my kids have been spared that I think.

    We’re all about eye correction instead.

  18. Funy — I`m catching up here, after writing a post about how I, too, and not looking forward to my daughter getting her period.

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