We Had a Retainer Party
Here’s what Memorial Day weekend usually looks like for me. The company I work for gives us a bonus day off the Friday before. I love this because we then get a 4 day holiday weekend. How awesome is that!? So what normally happens is I work on a huge house project or two on Friday like cleaning out the garage or staining the deck. As I’m winding down the project I go fill my cooler with adult beverages and get ready for a lot of relaxing the rest of the weekend. I work hard on Friday so I feel better about relaxing a lot the next 3 days. See how that works? This past Memorial day weekend was quite a bit different. Instead of my typical routine we had a retainer party.
First The Drive
We live about a 9-10 hour drive from Colorado. My wife’s brothers family lives in Fort Collins and my dad and stepmom live in Denver. My brother in laws youngest son was graduating from high school over the weekend. This provided the inspiration to do something different on Memorial Day weekend.. As in have the family drive to Colorado and spend 2 1/2 days hanging out with my brother in laws family and my dad and step mom. So my 2 daughters and I left on Thursday afternoon and made about 60% of the drive. Friday morning we got up and drove the rest of the way to Denver to pick up my wife. She’d flown in the night before from Minneapolis where she was in a training for work. During the drive with my daughters was when we were talking about retainers. This is when I asked when was the last time we had a retainer party. As in when did I and both of my daughters wear our retainers when we were all together. Goofy I know. As might not surprise you I wear my retainer far more often than they do.
Here we are hitting the road.
I had bad teeth pretty much my entire life. They always bothered me. Like many times when I smiled I would cover my mouth because I didn’t want my teeth to show. When I was a kid the dentist told my parent’s that functionally I didn’t need braces. Only for aesthetics or cosmetically. That probably means the same thing but I got to use big words. In any event my parents decided to forego braces for me. So for my entire life my teeth bothered me. I finally got sick of thinking about and decided to do something about it. So at the ripe age of 48 I got braces. Got them off right after I turned 50. One of the best decisions I ever made. Now of course the fun side of that is wearing a retainer at night.
The trip was a blast. We saw my dad and step mom several times in Denver. Most of the time we spent in Fort Collins for the nephew’s high school graduation. My wife’s father and aunt were there as well as other family members. It was one of those wonderful feelings of lots of family being together to celebrate. In my opinion it doesn’t happen as much as I’d like these days. Maybe that’s nostalgia from getting older, who knows. I do know as I’ve gotten older I value relationships above and beyond anything. The immediate core of 4 in my household – wife and daughters is my #1. Getting to spend time with members of the family outside of my immediate household is great as well. And I can’t remember the last time my daughters and I could say we had a retainer party so this trip was even better for that.
4 In The Room
For the hotel trip in Fort Collins I only booked one room with 2 queen beds. My wife and I slept in one bed and my 2 teenage daughters slept in the other one. And it actually worked out okay. I remember 4 years ago the 4 of us stayed in one room in Disney World. That didn’t turn out so well. One tiny room with 3 women getting ready at the same time? No thank you. On that trip it was debatable that all 4 of us would be coming back. Yeah, it was that bad. Not so this trip.
For whatever reason the 4 of us got along really well. There was only one or two small disagreements and I don’t know if I recall one single raised voice. That’s also a big part of what made it so great, the fact that we all got along well.
We Had a Retainer Party
So the last night we were in Colorado we hung out over at the cousin’s house. Just hanging out having a few beverages and some nice visiting and pleasant conversation. Around dinner time we went to where one of the cousins worked and got some dinner. It was a wing shack of sorts and it was quite tasty. We were back at the hotel room by 8PM and prepped for the early morning drive and got cozy in our respective beds and chilled. After a while it was time to turn out the light and get some shut eye. And of course we had to pop in our retainers. And we had a retainer party.
Reason For This Story
You know, that’s a good question. I remember talking to my oldest daughter about having a retainer party and it just made me smile. Then I remembered the context of saying we had a retainer party and what it represents. What the retainer party represents is family time. It represents spending time and energy on the thing that I find to be the most important in life – relationships.
When we were leaving the cousins house that evening before we drove back home I can remember what my sister in law said to us. Her exact words were “My heart is full”. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
And we had a retainer party.