Most mornings my world is consumed with the mundane. There is an unconscious rhythm that guides me as I move from brushing my teeth to packing lunches to driving my daughter to school. The sounds of water running, the thump as my feet hit the ground, and the hum of the heater as it turns off are my permanent guests. There is little interruption in the dissonance of the sounds, but sometimes, in this quotidian routine, there is a streak of bright hue that forces me to take notice.
Yesterday was one of those days, where the momentum of the rhythm willed the strings in a different direction. My daughter lost her very first tooth, the mark of her very early arrival into adulthood or as she says, “When all my teeth fall out, am I going to have big people teeth?” For the first time, she smiled at the world with a proud gap, her tongue peeking out pink. I struggled with her newly minted space, knowing that she is moving farther away from the freedom of infancy and toddlerhood.
She is growing. Her limbs are longer. She wears pigtails in her hair. She says words like magnify and actually. She asks questions, wondering big things and little things. She is learning how to read, adding and subtracting. She is only one month shy of her fifth birthday.
And I am watching it all. Wondering how things will turn out. I sigh and want to tell her to slow down. The voice in my head is yelling, I don’t want a gap, but a perfect row of teeth. It’s me holding on to time, clinging to how it was, instead of how it is going to be. I am wincing everytime I lose.
I’ve memorized my dance with the mundane, the swivels and the kicks of the ordinary routine. But sometimes, a subtle change, a tiny transformation, gives me pause.
How did you react when there is a subtle change to your routine? Does it cause you to reflect? How did you react when your child lost his or her first teeth? Did it give you pause?
“The voice in my head is yelling, I don’t want a gap, but a perfect row of teeth. ”
I felt exactly the same way when my second daughter got her first baby tooth. Her beautiful, sunny set of toothless gums – gone. Life with an infant – gone. And I know when I see patches of her toothless gums again, I will feel the same loss. Childhood on its way out. Which makes me all the more grateful to have (as you so beautifully put) memorized the mundane.
Oh how I know this. Each night when I go to bed I quietly moan for another day lost, how they will be just a bit older and how each string of days runs so quickly into years. They change and we see, and sometimes it really does shock us.
Beautiful post Rudri. I think you sum it up perfectly, it is those moments amidst the everyday mundanity of life when it hits you, slap bang in the face, that this little person you spend every day with is changing yet again, right before your very eyes and there is nothing you can do to slow down the pace. Nothing but watch in awe and amazement and rejoice in being there, along for the ride.
This is just lovely, and my heart understands. Miss M. keeps asking, “when am I going to lose a tooth?” and the irrational side of me wishes to answer “never.”
Oh, this is powerful. Toddler has yet to lose a tooth, but soon, I know. We want our kids to grow, but we also want time to stop or slow a bit at least, don’t we? Ah, the conundrum that is rabid paternal love. Gorgeous words today. Love the image of dancing with the mundane.
And I meant “rabid *parental* love” because, well, I am not a dad 🙂
These days I am feeling this way. My fourth grader seems so grown up and it scares me how time is flying and he is growing into a young man. Did I say young man? There. You have it- I want to slow down the journey. I want him to be small a little longer……
That is a big moment. It truly changes the whole shape of their face…they no longer look little. But they’re so excited about it, it’s hard not to smile.
So poignant, Rudri. Just lovely. (Oh, the baby teeth tucked away by the Tooth Fairy…)
We haven’t lost teeth yet here, but the most recent change in our routine that “got me” was my daughter giving up her nap. She’s practically ready for a 9-to-5 job now that she can make it through the day without resting. Sigh.
Emily is look so old these days. There are times when I see her at that perfect angle, when I can see what she will look like as a teen. It frightens me because I’m not ready for that. Then I remember that I still have a few years. So I encourage her toddlerhood and bask in her littleness, while remembering that her “little years” are numbered. Soon she will be big and losing teeth.
Hmm. Maybe I shouldn’t think about that right now.
Awe. lovely write. She lost her first tooth early. Such a bittersweet moment.
You’ve woven gorgeous imagery into this post, and between that a bittersweetness of longing for time to stand still. I have pictures around my house of my girl with no teeth and now she has all of them save the last four molars but she doesn’t even look like the girl in the pictures anymore. I enjoy this stage now but I wish we didn’t get here this quickly! I just can’t imagine the day she loses one of her teeth.
Oh my goodness, Rudri, you’ve got me on an emotional roller coaster. It’s my fault for catching up on all your posts at once!! Beautiful, beautiful post. Every night when I tuck my kids in, I pause for a few seconds to try to soak it all in because it feels like it’s flying by so fast. My baby is 1 already and Hannah will be 4 soon. I hyperventilate when I start thinking about her going to school in a year and a half. I laugh just typing that out because it’s so far away, but I worry about it all the time.