Two things I never had as a child were braces and patience.
Both our daughters needed orthodonture, and thankfully both of them were accepted into the Graduate Students Clinic at the University of Alberta, so the combined benefits plans of Audrey and I were able to cover the works.
Glory's treatment only lasted 14 months, but she was still very excited to have them removed on Wednesday morning. Just like her sister's, it turned out to be a smile worth waiting for:
She's not completely done; the retainer went in later that day and needs to be worn full time for a year; after that it is only required at night. Still, it can be removed for sports or eating, so croutons, popcorn and corn on the cob are all back on the menu, which makes her happy.
In terms of patience, I remember as a child how frustrating it felt to save up for something, and was well into my later teens before making any major purchases. Glory, on the other hand, has recently displayed her superiority to myself in this arena.
She has always had a knack for picture taking, and has a good eye, not so much for composition, but for contrasts in texture and lighting. She has always wanted a proper camera like her Auntie Betty's (and who is a respectable shutterbug herself), and I told her that if she saved up half of the money needed for the package she wanted, I would front the other half.
When I was Glory's age, there always seemed to be an opportunity to spend money; on second hand comic books at the book shop, or in the small arcade they had in the back; Dragon magazines and D&D modules at Henke's on Main Street; Scholastic Book order forms at school and so on. Glory had to resist a lot of school book orders, but every time she felt tempted, she thought to herself, would I rather have this or a camera?
And so, aided by the occasional babysitting or lawnmowing job and Christmas or birthday gifts from people who knew her goal, this is how she somehow managed to save over $400 in a specially labelled mason jar between last Thanksgiving and this past Wednesday.
She mowed the lawn after school the same day her braces came off, and after she took her total, I suggested we pop over to Costco after supper and see if the kit she was interested in was any cheaper as a cash-and-carry item than online.
Long story short, it was, and the price was only in effect for another week, and as other Costco shoppers know, that means buy it now or prepare to be disappointed. Now, Glory didn't have quite enough to finance her half of the purchase on her own, but I negotiated a set of 8 pre-paid lawn mowings in exchange for the difference, and a short while later, we were unpackaging her Canon EOS Rebel T5i kit.
She can't take photography at school until grade 10, but is already looking over the manuals and learning what all the buttons and switches do. She has already figured out how to blur the foreground and background while keeping the mid-range sharp, something she thinks of as an earmark of a proper photographer.
Me? I hope she enjoys using it, and I am confident she will, but I am already proud enough just from the discipline she's displayed in getting it.