You can see his shoulders and back straighten up, he struts his stuff now. He hauls wood. He knits. He cooks a bit. He writes and he writes and he writes. He is stubborn, and puts a firm foot down when he believes he is right, (oh I wonder where he got that from). He knows what he likes. He is willing to try. He is as malleable, and sweet, as he is strong, and determined. His smile is like spun sugar, all sparkly and crunchy and delightfully playful. He is resilient. This boy. I can flip my top and whirl into an anger of frustration, and then I feel his calm gentle hand on my shoulder, a reminder, a silent note. This boy. This boy.
His pride in his creations is palpable. You can see his chest expanding with his breath held, unable to fully release it until the masterpiece is complete. And again and again he poofs his chest up with a sort of, “Yeah, I did that.” look. It amazes me what this seemingly little boy can really do.
I felt like he would be a baby forever. The nights I spent up and rocking and nursing him seem like another life time already. I can remember sleepless nights where a friend suggested a way to gently be during those endless dark skies, waiting for the sun to rise. I would pretend the only living things on earth were him and I. It was just us sitting on the cozy round papasan. Us and the twinkling stars and the shiny moon. And somehow this helped my weary, new mama shocked eyes.
I would hold that little baby and stare off the porch into the rainy day or hoist him on my back with a nervous newness and dig in our itsy community garden spot. Pulling up the weeds and chatting with the neighboring plot tenders, I felt so proud to be a mother to him in all his cuteness and wiggly, velvet skin.
Now I’m dangling in the space between being a mama to all these little babies, and becoming a mama to a young boy. In this tiny space of oh my, oh my, I don’t know what I am doing, but my heart is filled with so much excitement for the trying. I mean he can read words. He can write letters. He is wondering about everything in this world. His thoughts are coherent and fluid. His feet are skimming this earth and it makes my heart swell and deflate at the very same time. I’m not sure why I never thought this day would come.
But it did.
He has a loose tooth.
For the last three nights I have kissed my baby goodnight, wondering if tomorrow will be the marking day. The day we all settle into this new spot. This comfy new chapter book where we are surrounded by not only sweet toddlers and babies, but charming boys that inspire us and challenge us and make us smile at their toothless grins.
one last full set of baby teeth photograph…