Smile - Raina Telgemeier

Nothing makes me smile harder than seeing my little ones read. I caught my oldest little man reading this check-out at odd times... those times being any time when he could be watching his favorite you-tubers. He loved it, I adored it.

This is where I'm supposed to tell you about the whole story and stuff...but it's late, this isn't really subject matter that appeals to a broader audience, and it's been awhile since I've really just let it all hang out. So, here's the very specific reason why I really liked this story...

On one fateful night after girl scouts, Raina, 11 years of age, trips racing to her doorstep with friends. Her resulting injury is, frankly, pretty traumatic. One front tooth is knocked out completely while the other disappears into her gum line, pushed beyond sight by the impact. Raina goes through four years of extensive dental work with a lot of going-by-the-seat-of-the-pants type of treatments just to see what would work to give her a confident smile again. From fake front teeth dentures, to multiple rounds of braces and headgear, she triumphs in her own middle grade coming-of-age story.

Now that is great, and it's told really well but, the BEST part??? The mom does not freak the eff out. Mom, this fascinating character, calmly and rationally handles the entire situation like she knows the sun is going to shine another day. Now, let me back up... this teeth trauma thing is pretty much my worst nightmare. While some people are afraid of the dentists for themselves, I'm actually afraid for my children. Put me in the chair? Fine. The minute we walk into one of those poshly decorated hell-traps with my little? Full on anxiety. Wait. That's not being honest. I can't even call and schedule the appointment without a meltdown.

Granted, I don't actually display any really crazy behavior in public, per se, but get me behind closed doors and I'm in the fetal position.

So, a story (it's autobiographical, by the way. Should have mentioned that earlier which would have made more sense, but see? Just typing this all up has me out of sorts), where a kid of eleven endures trials akin to medieval torture (just, humor me and my neurosis) and comes out the other end happy and whole and successful? I feel like this is a life book that I need to reach for in times of desperation.

At first I really didn't understand why my kid connected with this so much... but then again, I think that some kids can just intuit the needs of the parents sometimes. Yeah, I'm going with that.