It hasn’t been an easy two years for my 16-year-old daughter Hadas.
I would often notice Hadas picking at the unyielding metal scaffolding strangling her gums and pearly whites,. And as her mother, it was hard for me to see that. To know that, especially following her monthly adjustments, she was suffering from minor but constant discomfort.
And then, last week, the orthodontist invited me in for a special final meeting with Hadas. First he showed me the original x-ray of her teeth—which was a dental balagan of teeth slanted at an array of directions, like the tombstones from a 17th century graveyard. And then he showed me an x-ray of her teeth today. Perfectly straight, like a unit of crew-cut marines standing at attention.
And it was startling for me to see that. To see the cumulative effect of 2 years of constant, expertly-crafted, corrective pressure.
But what was even more startling….No, not startling. What was far more WONDERFUL was seeing Hadas this past Sunday morning when she arrived home braces-less. With a smile so beautiful, so grown-up, that the first time I could imagine my oldest daughter glowing in a long white dress a few years down the road IY”H.
Sara Chana Radcliffe writes in her Family First column this week:
“Modern research shows that people become less happy after having their first child.
“Apparently people are quite bothered by the exhausting demands of parenthood—and keep in mind that this research is done on couples who only have one or two children (and often a full-time nanny). Life was easier and more fun before they were saddled with the 24-hour-a-day responsibilities of child care.
“Once the little ones leave home for good, parents return to a higher level of happiness.
“But other studies show that while the day-to-day life of a parents is normally more stressful than that of a non-parent, their big picture of life satisfaction is higher.
“Parents find meaning, purpose, and fulfillment in their roles, even though the daily grind is difficult.
“Indeed , when people make it through tough times of any kind , they often feel stronger, wiser, and more accomplished.”
“In the end, it was worth it, right Hadas?”
“Yes Eema,” she smiled big and wide, “It was very hard. But in the end it was very worth it.”