I knew Primo would need braces at some point. His teeth were coming in at such strange angles, behind other teeth; it seemed like the tooth fairy had visited him drunk every time. But really- top level of severity on three dimensions? Three? Bottom jaw juts out in an under bite like a bulldog, side to side is way off, and the top and bottom are tilted off one another in some strange axis. Oy. Our kind, gentle dentist told us as sweetly as possible Primo needed a consult with an orthodontist soon, that at this age they can plan and begin a process to help him. She handed me the referral, saying at some point they may even need to pull some teeth if his jaw does not grow significantly in the next several years. But, she added, on the bright side, Segundo just has a slight under bite, and they both seem to have strong, healthy teeth and gums! Thanks Doc.
Growing up, braces were like saying you wanted a pony; so far outside the margin of possibility that they were not even worth thinking about. They were simply too expensive. While prices have come down and the technology involved has become more sophisticated, it is still a sting to the pocket when considering the years and degree of difficulty involved with Primo. But I have seen the problems Husband has had with chewing, sleeping, all sorts of functions I take for granted and if we can alleviate those issues for our kids, then I would like to try.
I wonder at the genetics involved. How did both my kids get my Husbands mouth? Did they get his whole head? Did they get his propensity (and his mother, and his grandfather) for a bad back? Segundo certainly got his hair. We joke that if he had been a girl she would have been a hair model, it is so thick and straight and beautiful. Segundo hates for us to wash his hair though, it is so thick it makes it difficult to get to the scalp- yet he will not get a buzz cut again, he says it makes him look dumb. Primo cares little about his hair and clothes most of the time, and is the easier going of the two. He seems to have hair more like Husband, but not the carbon copy straight shot Segundo got.
Did they get anything from me? I worry that they may have only gotten deficits; did they get any of the scary cancer genes we suspect run in my mothers family? Or did they get the extreme longevity of my fathers side? They have eyes similar to mine in color, but it is also the color of my mother-in-laws eyes. Both boys got the wonky toenails of their father (who has had to have nail surgery for extreme in-grown nails- are they related to the teeth problem somehow?). I hope they got his nose, not mine. I hope they got his even-keel personality, his wit, and his creativity (whether by genes, modeling, or a combination of both). We both have big squishy hearts, which is evident in the boys. Whatever neuroscience and genetics has said lately about attributes of altruism, empathy and the like I would like to read. The boys have these qualities in spades and would probably make good research participants.
I know kids grow and change. I know Primos jawbones and head (which already takes an adult size M-L hat!) will grow more in the coming years. I know they will expand their already barrel chests, wide shoulders, and long legs and the proportions will shift and exaggerate like a fun house mirror over the years. But it would be good to see them at some point and know visibly they have something of me in those cells, something written in the DNA that is not a deficit. Time will tell. In the mean time I have to put a slit in an empty coffee can lid and start saving money for braces and what ever else the dental magicians have come up with for Primos mouth. I trust the words, songs, jokes, and ideas that come of it- now I need to learn about and trust the hands and appliances that will go in.