Last year at Halloween, I stood with the other moms and dads outside the elementary school while our kids circled the school in a parade, showing off their costumes and baring their fake fangs and waving their fairy wands and chortling and guffawing and having a grand day.
A skinny blonde girl came by, and we ‘aw’ed and laughed at her ingenious ‘Backwoods Cinderella’ costume, complete with fake teeth that stood out at a right angle to her lips.
Then we realized.
Those weren’t fake teeth….
Those were her REAL teeth.
You could hear the sucking sound of wind in the courtyard as we all inhaled in surprise and alarm.
I wish I was exaggerating here. Let me say this…her permanent teeth had grown to enormous length, and she had a tremendous overbite, but really and truly, her teeth stood straight out from her gums. She looked like she had those false plastic teeth in there, the kind my kids get in treat bags at birthday parties, or in 25 cent machines at the grocery store. If I see her this Halloween, I will take a picture of her and post it.
There’s no way this girl could have taken a bite from a crunchy apple, or whistled, or slept without her mouth totally drying out. It was kinda sad, really, and we parents couldn’t take our eyes off her. Didn’t her parents care? Braces are expensive, sure, but what about your child’s well-being?
Throughout the year, I’d see the girl here and there, walking down the hall alone, always sort of wistful. I wanted to find her parents and give them $20 and say, “Take your daughter to my kids’ dentist…he’s really good…and your daughter deserves it.”
This morning as I was dropping off Boy-child and Girl-child, I saw Lonely Bigtooth Girl’s brother. His dad pulled up in front of the school in a new Cadillac. The boy got out and the dad sped away, not even walking him in or waiting to make sure the boy got inside okay. Lonely Bigtooth Boy sat in the Before Care room, alone at a table, looking sad and wistful. While his dad drove a new Cadillac.
Isn’t there a special kind of hell for ig’nant parents like this?
Or am I just being too Liberally Sensitive?