Bye-bye Baby!

Did you keep track of all your kids' "firsts?" First tooth, first words, first steps. I suppose I have some kind of loose record of those events someplace, but I have a whole different set of things I track.

Hubs laughs at me because I'm all about the "lasts." I've always been that way--about life in general, not just about my kids.

I know I'm not alone. Karen Kingsbury has a lovely book, Let Me Hold You Longer, that's all about the lasts that slip by when you're not looking. The last time they sit on your lap or sit still for a bedtime story, the last time you tie their shoes or drive them to school. (It'll make you cry, but it would be a really nice Mother's Day gift nonetheless).

I'm not one of those moms who rushed my guys' milestones. I didn't shave 3 months off the age they sat up/rolled over/walked/talked/memorized the pre-amble to the Constitution. (Ok, neither of them has really done that last one.)

I was perfectly content letting Bug sit in the middle of the floor for his first 8 months because he hated being on his hands and knees and never crawled at all. I didn't even do color or ABC flashcards before they started preschool. I don't hold them back, but I just kind of let things happen when they will.

Today we hit a 'last' I've been dreading. Today was Bug's last day with all his baby teeth. I know most moms get excited about planning that first tooth-fairy visit, but all I can think of is how all the photos I've taken with his beautiful, evenly-spaced pearly whites will be replaced with several years of snaggletoothed smiles.

I've known it was coming; most of his kindergarten classmates are in varying stages of jack-o-lantern grins. But I never got that week or two adjustment period where that first little tooth gets wiggly. My little guy got ahead of himself and his first adult tooth pushed through without bothering to displace the baby tooth. (Maybe I'll feel better if I call it a "secondary" tooth instead of "adult?")

So Monday we'll make an appointment with the dentist who will probably have to pull that baby tooth and it's nearest neighbor--just like another dentist did to his mom when she was about 6 too.

And while I outwardly enthuse about this great milestone (I wish I could have captured on film the way his eyes lit up when I pronounced his tooth "wiggly;") inwardly I'm going to be just a little sad that the next time I blink everything about him will be grown up.

(Is this why moms hang on to the disgusting discarded teeth?)


Joyful said...

My heart shares your sentiment my friend. I too have Karen Kingsbury's book and have cried tears over each page. Saying goodbye to each season is hard and remembering each 'last' difficult. We would cherish them so much more, if we only knew in advance how much we would miss the stage we sometimes long to see end.

My son never did crawl either. He went from sitting to walking. I think of the 'lasts' that still await me...ones I don't want to rush at all...and pray the Lord will help me embrace today and love them while I can.

Holding on as long as God allows,

Priscilla said...

Well, Mary, my baby girl turned 31 yesterday---her son will be 11 in October---holy cow!!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

So relate over girl just lost her second tooth and the tooth fairy forgot to visit that night...imagine the drama the next morning!

I've been having a lot of these moments as of late. Tender times for a mom; still and yet, I choose to feel them rather than stuff them. It's part of my "growing up." On another note, are we doing Ruby Tuesday tomorrow? I have some thoughts. Let me know.


Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

I'm in the firsts and lasts at once with a 2 year old and a todder. Right now I'm having a tough time with the lasts of nursing and the last of John's toothless baby grin as his first little tooth comes in.

In my limited mothering experience, it seems to be filled with bitter-sweets :)

RefreshMom said...

Wow Priscilla! Time really flies, doesn't it? I can't believe your grandson is 10!

RefreshMom said...

Jenn, I agree there is a lot of bittersweet in mothering. I remember exactly those things that you're experiencing now. Even though I took the appropriate pictures and gushed when Bug got his first tooth at 5 months (and dang those things are sharp!), I was sorry to see the gummy smile change to a toothy one. And ending nursing has to be one of the hardest because in a lot of cases you never really know when the "last" is going to stick, so you can miss it. A big one for me was when I left for the hospital to have DS#2, I cried with my sleeping big boy because those were the last moments we'd have just the two of us. I'm glad that God's given me the perspective to pay attention though. I might not have a record of the specific dates and times for some of those things, but I most definitely have the memory. Enjoy all of the moments.

emily said...

I am right there with you. I'm especially sensitive to it right now as my girls are preparing to finish up preschool. So everything feels last. Great post. Thank you for celebrating these lasts and linking up at Tuesdays Unwrapped!

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