May I always remember that warm August day when my oldest looked at me and said, “mom, something feels weird in my mouth” and I looked to see two adult teeth - shark teeth as they say - popping in behind his very first loose tooth.
At first there was shock and fear. The thought my son’s teeth would look strange forever floated through my mind. After a deep breath and some calming thoughts, I wanted to see again. His very first loose tooth! I instantly and equally felt both joy and sorrow. Crossing this threshold brings my baby boy to a new level of consciousness - a tiny step towards adulthood - and into school age readiness. In some schools of study they call this very event, the first puberty.
Withdrawing for a moment from our daily life and peeking in from above, I notice, yes - he’s growing up. My six-year old boy who loves nothing more than play is doing things that make us proud - like folding his clothes and putting them away, wanting to brush his teeth twice a day, keeping the ritual at dinnertime, and grasping so vibrantly the changing of seasons. He’s grasped this astute listening of language and has a voice and a willingness to let us know we didn’t fully pronounce sounds correctly (which of course drives us a little mad!) All these shifts let me know that like a snake, he’s shedding his baby skin right along with those baby teeth my son is preparing for enormous growth ahead.
In a way it feels as if I’m going through a mom puberty of my own - venturing into new uncharted territory of emotions and independence.
With the emergence of adult teeth seems to be adultness taking place of where innocence once lay, and with this knowledge a little bit of grief - Like last week when we left the doctor's office my son politely declined the end of appointment sticker with a no thank-you. In that very moment I had to hold back tears - this nonchalant experience felt like a blow to my heart. One day stickers will no longer be something magical. And If you take away the power of band-aids, you may as well call in for reinforcements for I’ll be lost.
So as a woman who turns to mantras, I continue to remind myself, “as he grows, I grow” and that with this growth will come new firsts and adventures and ways of connection. But for now I sit in wonder as he’s in between two worlds and soak in the squeals of “mommy! I want a hug!”, to "hold me with all eight of your arms", to him choosing to relax with an audiobook midday in bed with his sister instead of independent play. For one day - not too far off - he’ll be all grown up, as they say….
xxo ~ s.