Today was the second attempt at correcting my sweet little Stephanie’s tiny little mouth. Since she was two we knew that we would have to do it. Her upper jaw is too tiny to line up with her lower jaw. Last week they struggled to get the device in that stretches her jaw only for it to fall out the next day like it had never been in there to begin with. Just Steph’s luck. Today they decided to make a whole new mold of her mouth because the appliance wasn’t fitting right and that’s why it fell out in the first place. Four tries. That’s right, it took four tries before they got a perfect impression of her mouth. What did she do by the fourth try? Laugh. She giggled like it was the funniest thing in the world all the while teasing that it tasted like chalk! Now that is my Stephanie for you. Always cheerful and completely able to find the sunny side of everything. The hygienist told Stephanie that she was her best patient, even better than some eighteen year olds that just gag and complain.
It’s been a joy watching Stephanie grow up. She struggles at school, the hard pregnancy took a toll on her which also made her the cute little shrimp that she is. Tiny and petite and always a fight to get anywhere in the world, whether it’s struggling to catch up in reading, trying to get her little itty bitty mouth to open up wide enough for the dentist, or just being tall enough to reach anything, but she just smiles her way through it all. I can’t imagine what kind of a teenager she will be, hopefully just as wonderful and cheerful and every bit as determined to never give up no matter what. Just think of the blessing that she will be to her own kids someday.
Now I know that Heavenly Father made families so that we could find joy in this earth and help each other through our struggles, but I think He made Stephanie for our family because she would bless us, not us her. I honestly cannot think of a time when she hasn’t been sweet as sweet can be. Even as a baby when she cried, which was very rare, it was as if she was apologizing for making such a commotion but had no other way to voice her needs.
How often do I giggle about my lips being stretched to kingdom come so that someone can shove goop that tastes like chalk into my mouth four different times all the while I am sitting in the dentist chair? How often do I complain about stupid things that I should really just choose to giggle about? Ah, as a mother I still have so much to learn.