This week we have had a large number of patients returning home from college to have their retainers checked or lost retainers re-made. This is my opportunity, while reviewing their records, to enjoy seeing early photos of the child faces now morphed into the remarkable adults who are present here and now. It feels like just yesterday they were sitting in our chairs as adolescents choosing their colored ties and talking about rubber bands. It’s amazing that in what seems like a blink of an eye, our beloved patients are off experiencing the great big world on their own.
I love hearing how finals went, how many hours they stayed awake to finish that English essay, and how they plan to sleep for the next few days in order to catch up. They are excited to return home to their families and reconnect with old high school friends.
I remember my first semester away at The University of Michigan, not knowing what to expect. I, too, left my sisterhood of high school friends to travel to Ann Arbor and live in a 10 by 10 room with a complete stranger. Everything about that experience changes you and life as you know it will never be the same, but in a good and positive way. So as I enjoy conversations with the young men or women who have returned to sit in my chair, I know that much about them has changed in a short period of time. However, their warm and beautiful smiles will always stay the same.