Smelly Socks: 'Oh yeah, it glows in the dark, too'

Aug. 15, 2013 at 3:15 a.m.

Jamison proudly displays his Longhorn retainer.

Jamison proudly displays his Longhorn retainer.

Like everyone else I know, we have had a very busy summer of outings, errands and trips.

One major summer issue that had to be taken care of made us regular fixtures at Dr. Robert Westbrook's office. Jamison, 9, got his braces off and his retainer put in, and my 12-year-old, Austin, got his braces put on.

Jamison actually has a rather high pain threshold, but he has an extreme disdain for anyone messing with his mouth. More than once, I joined the other mothers in the office by craning my neck and walking down the long hallway to peek to see whose child was making the most awful werewolf like howling noises.

I hate to report that every time, it was my Jamison that did those horrid moaning noises. Jamison skipped up to the front waiting area from the back office and smiled saying, "It didn't hurt. I was just afraid it was going to."

The polite dental hygienist assured me with a grimace that "he did just fine." She also included that they have "had much worse." However, what brought a true smile to his face was his shiny, new retainer.

With a gleam in his eye, he informed me that it is "glows in the dark" and then presented it for me to see the bright orange longhorn right in the center of his retainer.

We are a very college-neutral family. Our family has some A&M Aggies, UT Longhorns and Baylor Bears graduates among others, so I knew that the UT Longhorn wasn't an indication of a college preference.

Jamison just happens to think it looks "really, really cool." He has always been partial to the color orange, and the fact that he lives on a ranch with cattle and has a longhorn named Julio hanging above his mantle, explains his certain affection for longhorns.

Everywhere he went, he would show people his retainer with great pride, and he took really good care of it because Dr. Westbrook carefully explained the replacement cost involved if he lost it.

Austin was all packed up and ready to go to camp with Northside Baptist Church. He met his friends in the parking lot, and they thoroughly discussed their methods for acquiring the top bunks and how to make the biggest mess in the mud pit.

They had visions of intense competition planned over who could get the most dirt in the girls' hair and how many Mountain Dew sodas they could chug in one night. My parents, Mimi and Popsy, met us at the church to give Austin hugs goodbye and wish him a fun and safe time.

Since my parents attend this church, they were talking to various people also there dropping off their children and grandchildren. My mother was talking to a sweet couple who were there dropping off their granddaughter. Their granddaughter was politely smiling as she was introduced to my mother, and she stood there clutching her A&M pillow while wearing her maroon and white Aggie T-shirt.

I joined my mother and we commented on all of her A&M paraphernalia, and then she proudly whipped out her retainer and showed us the A&M insignia that graced her mouth. As if a lightbulb went off in Jamison's head and without the least bit of hesitation, Jamison sprang into action.

He swiftly whisked his retainer out of his mouth and presented "his longhorn," while grinning from ear-to-ear. Instantly, he seemed to grasp the idea around college mascots and different college rivalries. College allegiance might not rank high in our family, but we are certainly a competitive bunch. Jamison proudly included, "Oh yeah, and it glows in the dark, too."

Johanna is a proud seventh-generation Texan. She lives on her family's South Texas ranch with her husband and two lively boys. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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