My twelve-year old son visited the orthodontist this week and now has a full set of braces. My heart jumps every time I see his metal smile, for it seems my little boy is disappearing. I didn’t realize what an affect this metal hardware would have on me. I had no idea that a dental procedure would be responsible for driving home the point that my son is now an adolescent. I suppose I’m glad that I live in a time when the rites of passage are benign. I don’t have to worry about my son being killed in a warrior’s battle or lost on a pilgrimage. I do have a few more years of mothering ahead, before he starts dating or driving. But time is passing quickly. I want to savor every moment. I don’t have time to worry about yesterday. I don’t have time to plan too much for tomorrow. I just want to cherish today and that sweet metallic smile that’s meant just for me.