Last Tuesday (the 10th) Jared lost his retainer. He received his retainer on January 26th. As they were getting it ready to give to him, one of the assistants gave Jared a paper to sign. The paper basically said that the Ortho can't make Jared wear his retainer and that if he doesn't wear it, his teeth might shift. It also said that if he loses the retainer then it was his responsibility to replace it. They gave him a little case for him to put it in when he was eating so he wouldn't throw it away in the garbage.
Fast forward to February 10. The boys were messing around while they were eating and Jared had forgotten his case, so the retainer was just on a napkin on his tray. Because they were messing around, Jared hurried and emptied his tray and they went to play.
At the end of the day Jared called the house and Seth answered. (I was subbing at the Elementary School. Gordon had pink eye so Seth worked from home.) Jared told him that he had missed the bus and he had thrown his retainer away and was going to look for it.
Our Middle School is attached to our fitness center and Jared went to look in the fitness center dumpster first. He said that he noticed there wasn't any food in the dumpster so he went back to the school and asked where they dump the food from lunch. The Janitor told him where the bins were and gave him some rubber gloves.
I wish I could remember his exact words. Jared said, Luckily the wood shop just threw their wood away instead of recycle it because he used it to sort through the garbage. Picture Jared inside the dumpster. He said that he ripped open the first bag of partially eaten food and everything was soaked with chocolate milk. The chocolate milk pooled around his feet and he methodically used the piece of wood to separate the garbage and look for the retainer.
He was on his second bag of garbage and was feeling hopeless and then he looked in the corner of the dumpster and he was something black and green. It was his retainer! He did a little happy dance (His words) and jumped out of the dumpster. He went inside the school and washed it really well (after he took another glove because it was so slimy).
When he went into the office to call Seth and let him know that he had found it and was ready to be picked up, the secretaries had been talking about him. One of them said, "I didn't think you would ever find it. I expected you to come right in after you saw how disgusting it was." The other secretary (who used to teach piano to my kids) said, "I just said, 'Not Jared. He won't come back until he finds it.'"
When I got home from school and washed his shoes =) Jared was telling me about it. I said, "I can't believe you even found it in the big dumpster with all of that gross food." Jared said, "I wasn't going to stop looking until I found it. It was the grossest thing I have ever done!"
Turns out that he figured that if he lost it by throwing it away, he would have to pay to replace it and he wasn't interested in paying for it. I don't know what I would have done as far as making him pay for it. I am glad that I didn't have to find out.
Some things stand out for me with this story: Jared didn't freak out or cry; he discovered that something was wrong and made a plan to solve the problem. He didn't give up even when things got hard (or disgusting). He was resourceful. He got some direction from the Janitor and even used the piece of wood so he wouldn't have to touch too much of the garbage. He was victorious. I doubt that he will throw the retainer away again any time soon.