Last week Ben got a retainer to help straighten his teeth. It’s actually been installed (like a rector) and he’ll have it in his mouth for up to six months. It’s tough watching your son struggle to speak. The dentist told us it’ll take about ten days for Ben to get used to talking with it — he’s got to learn where to position his tongue.

He’s been a great sport about the whole thing and his friends have been supportive. But still those first couple of days, when even I was having trouble understanding certain words, were hard to take.

 No one likes to watch their children struggle with anything. Whether that’s hitting a baseball, doing multiplication tables, or sitting still in church. Some things we can help with (flash cards!) but others we cannot. And that hurts. But it’s also part of the maturation process for everyone involved, including parents.

At this point, Ben’s fine with it. The toughest cross he’s had to bear has been laying off Peeps during Easter season. I’m the one who still struggles occasionally when I hear him saying words like “suspicious” or “success” (S’s present the greatest challenge).

The good news is that come September he’ll be all ready to once again whip through Fox in Sox, that dastardly Seussian series of tongue twisters.


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