You Know You’re a Mom When You Dental Appointment Becomes Your Getaway Vacation.

I know some of you think I’ve gone MIA or AWOL or whatever the appropriate military term is here. We’re actually doing ok over here.  We had no peanut reactions or broken legs this week, and really, our most dramatic event was our trip to the dentist yesterday.

I know it’s a little weird, but I actually look forward to seeing the dentist.  For one, he’s my cousin, Stevie. Remember him?  The one that used to worship me and follow me around when we were three?  I call him Dr. Braithwaite now, and he invited me back into his office to visit, even though the hygienist was chomping at the bit to get to my teeth.  

That’s good old Stevie.  Always checking up on me.  He asked about my family, told me about his wife and kids, (we both have five of them), and thanked me for my blog post I shared on his birthday.  I wish we could hang out at more places than the dentist’s office, but life is crazy, and I’m glad for those cherished minutes we do get.  

When we were young, we’d load up in our big van and make the trek from Utah to California.  This was the time before cell phones, but no matter when we arrived at the Braithwaite’s house, they were waiting in their foyer, squeezing their hands together, jumping up and down, squealing like little pigs, and running into walls and stuff.

You would think we were better than Christmas.

The first moments of arrival would have to go in my book as some of the best moments of my life, moments of sheer joy.  It felt good to be so welcomed, so received, so wanted.

My Aunt Wendy must have been the most relaxed mother on the planet, as she graciously allowed the nine of us into her home of nine already.  It was sweet chaos.  We played Pac-Man, ran across the street and played at the school, watched channel 13 cartoons, played Bunthead, helped Stevie bundle up papers for his paper route, and ate a lot of spaghetti.

But there was just one thing about their house that kept me on my toes.  None of their bathrooms had locks. Wendy had five sons and her daughters didn’t come until the end.  I know boys don’t think about locks too much, given that I can barely get my boys to close the door, but girls thinks about it a lot.  Since I was the shyest girl on the planet at the time, this situation was downright traumatic for me.

They had four bathrooms, so I would do my little reconnaissance mission, scouting out the quietest part of the house, but as you can imagine, this was pretty hard to do.  Sometimes I snuck into the master bathroom, and believe me, I felt very sheepish about this.  

So yesterday, when I went into Stevie’s, I mean Dr. Braithwaite’s office bathroom only to find that it also had no lock, I just lost it.  That was the funniest and sweetest thing that had happened to me all week.

I still dream about the Braithwaite’s old house, and when I wake up, I feel a sweet, but sad tenderness. What I would do to go back in time for just one hour, 1986 if you were wondering, to see my cousins, giddy at their front door.



  1. Oh, this is so sweet. I definitely remember piling out of the fan and them all waiting for us… I remember them being in the front yard. It was super awesome! But then after that I was always sad because I didn't have anyone to match up with. I just wanted to go to Sharon's house. Anyway, I still have dreams about California too. Have you been back there? I went back just two years ago to Palos Verdes and drove by all the familiar houses. It was weird and sad and nostalgic.

  2. I sometimes wish I could go back in time for sweet moments similar to yours. I have to remind my children frequently to enjoy their childhood. It passes too quickly!

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