Monday, February 19, 2007

"What do voluntary mean?"

That's my favorite quote from a football player, ever. In this case it was the response of former Dallas Cowboy starting running back Troy Hambrick who was being questioned by reporters about missing the "voluntary" off season work outs.

I think my son felt the same way last week when I took him to get his braces put on. The night before hand he asked me why he needed to do it and if it couldn't in fact be avoided. To his credit he did about all he could to not need them. He didn't suck his thumb. He didn't take a pacifier. As it turns out it didn't matter he needed them any way. There's a life lesson in there somewhere, but as a parent I'm not allowed to see it. I told him that later on he'll be really glad that he did it and that if it weren't important his mom and I wouldn't be investing the money into it that we are.

My boy persisted and asked what the medical ramifications would be if he didn't get the braces. So I had to admit to my son that this was purely cosmetic and that he faced no life threatening consequences. At this point he said that he was fine with his teeth the way that they were and was already happy with how he was. "Alright son", I said "Here's the deal. We're shallow, but other people are too. So this is being done in the effort that you will one day be able to get a date or win over the person at the job interview with your nice smile." So now I feel like I did the right thing by getting the braces and also feel guilty that I'm contributing to making my son self conscious.