Hail, Hail to Braces
Our youngest teen started high school this year. It is a scary thing. Under all of the makeup, hair decorations, and braces our little girl resides. Thank God for braces! No matter how sophisticated she thinks she is, there is nothing quite like her dorky smile showcasing bright pink bands, shiny metal, and extra slobber at the corners of her mouth that screams “too young to date!” I am relying on those braces to fend off possible suitors.
The braces worked all through Jr. High. We had some “talks” over the summer about just being friends with boys – nothing serious. We discussed how studies are the most important thing right now, and there will be no “single dating” for a while. Quite a while. She sagely nodded her head and we hugged and she blessed me with her beautiful smile. I was thinking, “Yes! Those braces are gonna work for a few more years!”
Wrong! At the end of summer she trotted off to band camp. Yes, Band Camp. Innocent band camp where they learn to march the first show, meet other kids, and have a great time. She marched until her calves were sore, she played her horn until her lips were cracked and split, and she met lots of other kids.
When I arrived to pick her up from band camp, she acted like I was a walking case of anthrax, and I don’t even think she knows what anthrax is! Whaaattt in the world??? I tried to talk to her. She flipped her hair and trotted off in the opposite direction mumbling something about having to load the percussion truck.
Since when do woodwinds have to load the percussion truck? I was instantly alert. My eye began to twitch. I grabbed her suitcase and sleeping bag. I tried to grab her and haul her to the car. I knew what was happening. I knew What Was HAPPENING! The braces failed me!
Sure enough, she found a boyfriend at Band Camp! I am here to tell you, He is too old. He has whiskers for Pete’s sake. He was in High School last year. He calls her “little sunshine” and holds her hand. He HAS A CAR! I want to vomit.
Can he NOT see the braces? The pink, gross, slobbery bands? She is a 9th grader (9th grader sounds so much better than freshman in these cases). A baby. A newbie at the games of romance. I am not ready for her to have a boyfriend.
I paid GOOD money for Band Camp. I can only hope that the cracked lips are truly from playing the horn too long. Although, I do remember one band camp – years ago – where I met this cute little trumpet player. His lips might have been cracked at the end of band camp. So long ago. Hmmm… I digress.
I suppose we have to let them grow up. It is just such a shock when it happens. One day in diapers, the next they want their ears pierced, then they find the eye-liner pencil, and BOOM, they have a High School boyfriend. It all goes so fast.
And yet, it is kind of sweet to watch them navigate the time worn roads of young romance. He DOES have a job. She has been making small efforts to clean her room. So, not all bad.
Yes, yes, he is nice to her. He goos and gushes and grins and sighs. But one of the nicest things about him (other than the regular job) is that he is nice to the chaperones.
Yes, I did say chaperones.
They are seven and ten and doing a whale of a job.