The first time I realized some kids weren’t given what I considered to be their birthright occurred when I was about 10 years old (I think). It was just after ballet class and I was talking to the lady who collected the money from parents. My dad had just forked over money for my sister and I to take lessons that week (the significance of which I now understand since I do the same every week for piano, sewing lessons and allowances) and I noticed the lady had a gap between her front teeth. It wasn’t an ugly gap, just unusual for me to see in an adult. Pretty much all the adults I knew had straight teeth, or dentures, or didn’t smile/talk/otherwise show their teeth. Or at least I hadn’t noticed anything other than teeth without gaps. Gray or yellow and/or misshapen, sure, but no gaps.
I asked her why she had a gap in her teeth, why hadn’t she gotten braces? She made the motion of rubbing her thumb and first 2 fingers together, to signify money. I didn’t understand this gesture, having never seen it before. So she spelled it out: her parents hadn’t had the money to get her braces for her teeth. This information bewildered me, as I was unaccustomed to being told No for the reason of no funds. I was quite familiar with No you don’t need that toy, or No it’s too much money for a toy, but not It’s too much money for us EVER to be able to buy you this basic dental necessity (in my opinion at the time). I looked at my parents a little differently after that. They didn’t have to buy me braces (which they did when I was a teenager) or take me to see a dermatologist, or any of the other myriad of things they did for my benefit. But they did those things anyway, with only the goal of seeing me grow up having every advantage they could afford to give me. Boy midget most definitely needs braces. Holy crap his mouth is a mess. Girl midget has an adorable gap between her front teeth and I hope she never wants to fix it. Because it’s adorable.
Last night we introduced a new member to our family; an Xbox. Yippee. We have been fighting against having an Xbox for at least 4 years now, and have finally given in. I’m a softy, I can admit it. Good thing my small offspring don’t read this here blog. My biggest complaints against having one were the expense (we found a good used one online) and the disruption of the living room (of which we have only one in our house in which we all converge). The second reason is still a factor, but not a big enough one for me to say No, apparently. For years Boy midget has been patiently listening to my reasons for not having an Xbox. He thought it all over and presented his own arguments in a calm manner. And when he requested to have an Xbox for his birthday this spring my icy demeanor melted. He is paying the monthly subscriber fee out of his allowance and he is also saving up his money to buy Halo 4. He is nothing if not industrious, and has been asking to do extra jobs around the house to further his goal. So fine. Let’s see how this goes. Girl midget is just as excited about this, and I’m positive the older kids are going to have a rollicking good time with this toy too, if they ever manage to get a turn playing with it.