Braces Off!

There’s little more exciting in a teen’s life than getting their braces removed, or as the orthodontist calls it, debanding. My younger daughter’s appointment was at 7:30 this morning and originally I planned to take her before work. Then I learned that we have to be in Indiana tonight by 6:30 so that her team can register for the AYBT Nationals. That meant leaving work around 3 p.m. Suddenly my workday had contracted to just five hours, so I decided to take another vacation day. Four days off for a basketball championship…the things we do for our kids!

It turned out to be a good thing that I took the day off because we were up early and busy until late at night. First things first, we headed for the orthodontist. Originally, the orthodontist’s office was only a few miles from home. Due to the multiple polar vortices this past winter, the office suffered structural damage that meant that every time it rained, the office flooded. Fortunately, the office was part of a network of orthodontists and an alternative location was secured. Unfortunately, this was 20 miles away and the highway between here and there  has been shut down for resurfacing.

The debanding, molding of her mouth, and creation of her retainers went smoothly. Soon I was gazing upon my lovely daughter and her newly dazzling smile.  After making a follow-up appointment, we headed for a car wash. I’d thrown the floor mats into the washer a few days prior, then let them air-dry. They came out like new. Now it was time to clean up the rest of the car to turn it in and pick up my new car. I’m having some buyers remorse, but it’s too late to change. I love my little, stick-shift car with manual locks and windows, but wanted a bigger car for the inevitable carpool for high school.

At the garage, I realized that just the night before I’d let my older daughter drive my car and she had not given me the key back. Dang. I had to go home for it. Upon return, I was told I shouldn’t have bothered…my key was only a $5 roadblock. I got my new car and it is replete with features, including push-button start. Now those key fobs are probably worth $100!

I contemplated going for a run, but I had too much to do before we left, including packing. We barely managed to get out on the road by 3:10. We got to Fort Wayne just in time. We checked into our hotel and then drove over to the Spiece Fieldhouse to check in. The truly frustrating thing was that the girls’ first game wasn’t until 7 p.m. the next night! Another vacation day wasted.

With the unusual prospect of free time stretching ahead of me, I reveled in having time to read. Time to read?  Priceless!  First on my list was The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. I tore through it and loved it. It is a dystopian novel, but unlike my recent dystopian reads, this was an adult novel versus a young adult novel. Next up, I started What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. I’m enjoying it and looking forward to another non-fiction book, The Arsenal of Democracy by A. J. Baime about Detroit’s role in the outcome of WWII.

I find myself in a world where I can’t figure out a daily or even weekly balance…but maybe over all, it’s all copacetic! These days, I strive for a balanced life but settle for the big picture…Some weeks I run. Others, I read. Others, I write. At the end of the day, I just try to smile! Perhaps it is time to find a way, whether putting in new life braces or taking off old ones, of getting a better balance in my life day to day.

Find the Joy in the Journey…Time to come up with a better plan!




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