It was the age of braces. Missing junior high social studies for dental appointments.
For most, a dreaded memory. Picking lunch out of your metal mouth cage. Rubber bands snapping on your gums.
For Sarah, however, they hold some of the best memories she has with her father.
The College of Dentistry in Lincoln offers great discounted dental work by students (supervised by actual dentists, of course). Sarah and her father spent five years making trips back and forth every six weeks.
The braces were just the beginning. Sarah’s father often used the opportunities for fun, grabbing a pint of ice cream at the Dairy Store and eating the entire thing on the way home.
One particular day, Sarah and her father thought they should visit the Nebraska State capitol building after driving by it so many times. She would miss a little more school, but hey, it could be considered educational. It would take the place of social studies anyway.
While navigating through downtown Lincoln, they struggled to find a place to park (as expected). The thick fog was making it more difficult.
Right turn, right turn, left turn. No parking spaces.
Left turn, right turn, left turn. Nothing.
Even through the fog, they could see something wasn’t right.
“I knew we were lost when we drove over the railroad tracks,” Sarah said.
It was clear that their quick trip to the capitol building was turning into more of an adventure than initially planned.
They back tracked through the fog, pint of vanilla ice cream in one hand, spoon in the other, and after all that, finally found their way on the steps of the Capitol.
“Honestly I have no idea how we got back to the capitol. Dad knew the streets of Lincoln pretty well so I guess we just eventually got back,” Sarah said.
On top of all that, they got a personal tour of the capitol building. This was Sarah’s first time in the Capitol.
Their tour guide took them through the hallways and grand ceilings of the government building. They even took the elevator up as high as they could go.
Sarah remembers the staircases, the marble, and the painted ceilings as the coolest parts.
Her mouth was sore from getting her braces tightened, but the pain melted away after all those hours laughing with Dad.
“The photos of me with braces just remind me of all the years spent going up and back to Lincoln, so I don’t mind remembering those memories,” Sarah said.
Skipping school wasn’t so bad either.
“I don’t think I missed anything important in social studies anyway.”
She cracks a smile. Perfectly straight teeth.