Smiling is a simple act that can really brighten your day, and according to the dental professionals, a healthy smile is priceless. I agree. And, even though priceless means having a value beyond any price, with my daughter's recent orthodontic adventures, I can assign an exact dollar amount for her smile; and it's an expensive one, but an investment that will pay off. Phyllis Diller even said, "A smile is a curve that sets everything straight!"
My 11-year-old has always had a radiant smile that merits her many compliments, and thankfully, she uses it a lot. She was really excited to get her braces. It's her rite of pre-teen passage. Even before we left the orthodontics' parking lot, she had sent a text picture of her mouth full of metal to all her friends. With her new pink-and-purple-checkered-metallic smile, she was eager to be part of the "Brace Face" crowd, even if it meant drinking nothing but Jamba Juice and eating yogurt for the next few days.
I never experienced this teenage rite, because I was lucky enough to inherit my mom's perfectly aligned bite and straight teeth. But, crazy as it sounds, I wanted braces. Once in junior high, I even bent and manipulated paper clips to fit over my teeth, so it looked as if I wore a retainer. I don't know what it is about the kids-and-braces phenomenon – but, looking back, and now watching my daughter's new routine, I am especially thankful to my mom these days!
May is the perfect month to give a little extra TLC to the moms in our lives. And, for us moms, to bask in the day designated just for us! To have a laugh and really appreciate our roles as mothers, check out Tracie Grimes's Humor at Home article, "Blockbuster Moms" on page 10. She writes about how much we moms resemble the leading ladies of Hollywood. After all, most days, our range of acting skills and emotional portrayals rival that of any Oscar-Award-winning actress. Think of the different "faces" and personas we have in our repertoire.
Tracie also gives us her monthly book review, "Mom's the Word for Great Reads in May," on page 12. She says we should ditch the chocolate and flowers gifts for Mother's Day and pick out a good book for her instead such as "Sullivan's Island: A Low Country Tale" by Dorothea Benton Frank. Some of the other books she recommends include "Mommy is a Soft, Warm Kiss" by Rhonda Gowler Greene and "Did My Mother Do That?" by Sharon Holt.
This month also celebrates our annual "Oh! Baby" issue in which we dedicate a section just for those chubby, cuddly, cherubic bundles of joy in our lives that starts on page 14. Some of the articles in this special section include "Colic Relief for Baby - AND You" and "Pregnancy A to Z."
In Rick Epstein's Fatherhooding article, "Mom Takes a Holiday" on page 11, he writes about a week where he gets to play "Mr. Mom" while his wife enjoys a much-deserved vacation with girlfriends in Spain. He says his Mother's Day gift for her was a chance to miss them. He explains how best laid plans can become sidelined when "life" gets in the way. So true!
Most of us moms won't be taking a holiday to Spain, but we can take advantage of our special day in our own way. For one, we can appreciate the little things: even a smile! Just ask any mom, and they will tell you that there is nothing better than when her newborn baby smiles for the first time. And, I can tell you that there is nothing better than a metallic smile from a preteen. Motherhood has many moments… Enjoy them all!
Happy Mother's Day!