Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Crazy Tooth Princess

My Dear Sweet Daughter has FINALLY lost some baby teeth only to have her front adult tooth come in at a 90 degree angle.  I'm not exaggerating.  I've attached photographic evidence in case you don't believe me.  Now my DD has had a lot to contend with in these last couple of weeks:  She found out she desperately needs glasses, she is still short, and now this crazy tooth.  Frankly, I was a little worried about her psyche; teeth especially are something our society seems overly concerned with.  I remember someone (I don't remember who; I hope it wasn't me!) told my sister when she was a little kid that she had too big of a smile; my sister proceeded to spend the next couple of years with this really weak pathetic smile in a conscious effort to "not smile too big."  My dear daughter has a lot of my sister's love for sparkles, sprinkles, big parties (and the inability to rub two nickles together) so I was a little worried.  What if my smiley and happy daughter suddenly becomes self-conscience?  Is this the time?

FYI - I've okayed all this with my DD
She is still outwardly adorable (at least to me), even with the glasses & crazy tooth, but especially lately as she is getting older, I've been reminding her about how beautiful her spirit is and that what people look like on the outside is NOTHING compared with who they are on the inside; Someone can be tall and beautiful with cool clothes, 20/20 vision, perfect teeth, and in all honors classes but can be an unhappy self-obsessed nasty mess on the  inside where it counts.  She is kind, creative, loving, thoughtful, and her mind works like no one else I've ever known (both amazing and a challenge).  And then my sweet daughter did something surprising, that can't be prompted or trained or taught, it just comes from a base of true confidence and love.  I watched her take a little survey.  She literally walked up to all sorts of people, parents, friends, classmates, relatives, and asked,
"What do you think?  Do you think my tooth is crazy enough to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for the craziest tooth?!  I'm pretty sure it is the craziest at school or with anyone that I have met, but have you EVER seen someone with this crazy of a tooth?  Do I have your vote?!"
Rather than being sad and self-conscious, or worrying about being teased, she handled the situation straight-on and with dignity.  She continues to laugh.  She continues to smile, maybe even now more than ever.  She talks about what her orthodontist says (which is that we just need to wait).  I think she is innately doing something that most mature adults struggle with, she is embracing differences, celebrating them, and not worrying about conforming to the masses (now she is not even 9; I'm not deluding myself, we are not in the clear, I'm sure we will deal with this again and again over the next decade and with much more grave issues than how a tooth is coming in).

Not my picture, just love the quote
But my heart could not be more proud of how she is handling this.  I don't want to raise a daughter / woman who is worried about what she looks like or what other people think (or even worse judges other people especially by outward appearances).  Don't get me wrong, I want her to look and feel pretty.  I think that is important, especially for women, but mostly, I want her to be happy.  I want her to be truly self-confident, but I don't want it to be based on something superficial and fleeting like physical beauty or appearances (or arrogance).  I don't want her to compare herself to other people and judge her value / attractiveness / success by Hollywood, Suburbia, or the people around her.  I will certainly fix that crazy tooth as soon as the orthodontist says we can, but I don't want her to feel broken until she has a straight tooth.  

I know that I am obsessing a bit and putting the cart before the horse but I don't want our girls to become over-achieving women who embrace the drama and never feel good enough (or worse, make other people feel like they aren't good enough -- which according to a whole slew of blogs out there is sadly what many women feel).  I want our girls to do the best with what they have and accept (maybe even embrace) what can't be changed.  There will always be someone smarter, funnier, prettier, more organized, with a cleaner house, more money, more creativity, more godly, a clearer sense of direction, nicer clothes, straighter teeth, luminescent skin, bronzed tan, a more fit body, skinnier, curvier, healthier, with endless energy, does more volunteer work, a better reader, writer, singer, student, cook, athlete, but I don't want our girls saddled with the oppression of weighing themselves against others; I want them to appreciate strengths (in themselves and others), work to over-come weakness, and just be happy, crazy teeth and all.  

 I couldn't decide which Audrey Hepburn quote, so I put them both:

I believe in pink. 
I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. 
I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. 
I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. 
I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. 
I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
                                                                                 ― Audrey Hepburn 

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.” ― Audrey Hepburn

My Sweet Girl (and Sweet Sister) - If you ever read this, I love you and I'm proud of you, not because you physically and outwardly appear beautiful, but because of your beautiful spirit.  If anything, your "crazy tooth" just makes me adore you more.  
And for the record, you have my vote for the Craziest Tooth EVER. 


  1. She has my vote too and Niko's! Niko thinks it's so cool and hopes she gets into the Guiness Book! You are an amazing mom and you have an amazing daughter! I just LOVE reading your blog - I happened to copy the 2 lice blogs and fowarded to my girlfriend whose 2 daughters have lice right now!

    1. Thanks Jodi! For the sweet comments and forwarding the blog! I'll let her know that she can add two more votes to her mental list! and I do hope that your friend survives lice without too many tears, please forward my info if she needs a little boost of encouragement!

  2. Your daughter definitely has my vote. Haha! It's inspiring to see how a little girl like her can actually take a crazy situation and accept it so easily. It almost feels like she’s a grown up. You you know what that means, it means you have raised her well. Maybe you can have her teeth looked at by a dentist just to be sure about the growth of those teeth as it is indeed a little unusual.
    Thanh Arnett