I’ve written in the past about how Son #1, currently nine years old, had “early orthodontic intervention” back when he was eight. While he was supposedly going to need his braces for up to a year and a half, he ended up getting them off after just six months, and has been in a retainer ever since. Fortunately for us, he’s only had to wear the retainer at night, so we haven’t had to worry much about it getting lost or damaged. That all changed, however, when we went on vacation a few weeks ago…
Our trip involved roughly 1300 miles of driving each way, and since we got a late start on the way out of town, we ended up staying in hotels on the road the first two nights. We were unable to locate his retainer en route, and when we arrived at our first major layover (my parents house) we couldn’t find it anywhere. I was the one that loaded the car, and I specifically remembered seeing it laying in our overnight bag before I zipped it up and put it in the car, but it was nowhere to be found. After two nights there, we then drove on to spend a week in a resort, and his retainer never re-surfaced.
On our way back home, we looked up the numbers for the two hotels we had stayed at and called to find out if they had found his retainer. No dice. So when we got home, we went through all of our things in hopes it had gotten stuffed in a random pocket in our luggage. Still no dice. So we called my parents and, while they had found a bunch of other stuff we left behind, there was no retainer. We were about to give up hope when my lovely and talented wife called the resort and learned that they had found a retainer in the bedroom where the boys slept.
Needless to say, we were totally relieved. Now we just had to get it back. We told them that it was time-sensitive and asked that they send it as quickly as possibly in hopes that it would still fit when we got it back. Well, their idea of time-sensitive turned out to be very different from ours in that it took two freakin’ weeks to get it back. But when it finally arrived, it still fit (barely).
All in all, we had somehow managed to lose his retainer early in the trip, keep it with us for 1300 miles until we arrived at our final destination, haul it into the resort, then really lose it under a dresser. Yet we still managed to get it back in one piece, thereby saving us $175. This has got to be the world’s luckiest retainer. Ahh, the joys of parenting.
I can only imagine the adventures that we have in store when our kids need full orthodontic treatment as teenagers and end up having to wear their retainers during the day. Any guesses as to how many (across four boys) will end up getting thrown in the trash in the school lunchroom? Who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky and they won’t all end up needing braces. Not likely, but a guy can hope, can’t he?