The other night my Kaelster came running up to me after baths and asked if he had a loose tooth. I expected nothing since having a loose tooth has been a pipe dream for my little misters up to this point and every time a little friend loses a tooth the incessant wiggling begins anew.
And then... just like that, it happened. His tiny bottom right tooth was jutted out of alignment from his other mini baby teeth and I wiggled it too and fro with ease.
"BUDDY! Your tooth IS loose! You're going to lose your first tooth soon!"
I kind of shouted to overcompensate for the sound of my heart breaking just a little bit. Ryan wriggled it and then Kael proudly demonstrated the wiggling to each of his brothers in turn and then he jumped up and down and basked in the glory and exclaimed, "I'm gonna get SO many dollars!"
No joke, his mama walked into the bathroom and whimpered for a minute.
Really? Those little baby toothens just got here!
They are the ones that caused his chubby cheeks to flush and his drool to be endless when they tried to unearth themselves from his pink gums.
They are the same teeth we celebrated the arrival of as if they were esteemed guests at a wedding party. We documented them in the baby book and we snapped photos to share with Grandmas and Grandpas.
They are the tiny ivories I carefully cleaned with a finger brush loaded with flouride-free toothpaste and he eagerly chomped down on my finger and belly-laughed at my painful reactions.
How could it be time to retire them already? How?
I stare at him now... at his top and bottom rows of baby teeth that will be intact for just a little longer and I see this face full of amazement and pride. He's gonna do it. He's gonna pull out that little tooth in days, maybe hours. And he is unabashedly thrilled with himself and his status as a big man.
And like the Mom I'm learning to be, I'm gonna have to sit on my hands and wait for him to come report thing #465 as conquered. At which point I will pull out my Mama pom poms and cheer at his growth and independence and we'll crank the music and have a celebratory dance party.
I know he needs to spread his wings and fly into the next phase... the next skill... the next "thing to be achieved". So I'll focus on the only thing that keeps me going from thing #27 to thing #321 to this latest thing, loosing a tooth -- thing #465. It's that during those moments -- Those victorious, glee-filled achievements -- they all turn their heads and look for me. Checking to see if I saw it. Looking for my reaction and my big hug or high five. Exclaiming the obvious to me to underscore the fact that they did it and ensuring that I witnessed it... whatever it is... on this, their newest best day ever.
I see you, guys. That's amazing! Keep going. I'm always here.
Memories. Coming at me at a speed I can't control.
And parenthood. A rush of so many sorts.
And love. So palpable I feel I'll be crushed by it's weight.
Teeth today - Mergers & Acquisitions tomorrow.
Life is an Hourglass.