Just before training began at work this week, my co-worker arrived wearing a royal blue t-shirt. Immediately following my realizing she was wearing a vibrant royal blue shirt, my attention was then drawn to the exceeding whiteness of her smile.
“Wearing blue makes your teeth look whiter!”
I realized then that my family system must be symbolized by a healthy, white smile, wearing royal blue.
The assignment for my Family Relations mid-term paper was to describe the Hodgkin system using a metaphor. The morning after having learned that blue accentuates your smile the light bulb moment struck me. I was in the middle of brushing my teeth when the ideas came flowing in. At the beginning, writing this analogy quickly became frustrating. As I pushed through my inability to put in words what I felt while maintaining my own dental hygiene, I was fortunate to establish some really fun, yet realistic, correlations.
A real smile can cause another to feel joy and smile back. Another variable of a healthy smile is the presence of all our teeth, thus allowing us to consume the food that keeps us alive. Those who’ve raised children understand how difficult it can be to persuade your children to establish a good habit of brushing well. When I’ve watched my nieces or my cousins little children brush, they apply the paste to the brush, wet the bristles under running water, knocking the paste off and into the drain, and then they quickly scrape the little teeth just in the front, spit, and on a good day they might brush their tongue at the end. The reason I mention the challenge of motivating oneself to go to the washroom and brush, and do a good job of it, is this; parents will be most successful and happy when they intentionally lead out in the rearing of their family. This is something new that I have learned in my study of marriage and family. Families are going through the motions when rearing young lives. Fathers and mothers succumb to this complacent parenting style because they are exhausted, stressed, ignorant, or preoccupied.
This is what I’d like most to share here. This is my epiphany (gained at the conclusion of writing my paper):
Unlike my parents, who’s parents and siblings left mortality while they were still young, I still have both my Dad and Mom. Along with my parents all of my sisters are living and involved in my life. Like the presence of my family unit, a mouthful of healthy teeth can bring about great things. I believe my personal progress is influenced by the lives of my individual family members.
I will be more diligent in thanking the Lord for giving me a family here on earth. They are so good to me. They share their lives’ with me and this gives me a sense of belonging. Their desire to be a forever family is like the royal blue t-shirt, it gives us (the white smile) divine purpose and enhances what is good in us, as we remain unified in our discipleship.
I’m grateful for all my teeth, as I am so thankful for every member of my Hodgkin family. I love the Savior’s teachings that make us strong together. And I just may wear the color blue more often.