To my Son, on the Growth of Your Big Boy Teeth

Angie Warren // To my Son on the Growth of Your Big Boy Teeth

To my son, on the growth of your big boy teeth,

I came across this photo of you from a few years back. It was your kindergarten year when these front teeth took their leave, in their place was an empty space. And the image I found? Oh my mama heart.

You see, now that space has been filled with the teeth you'll have through adulthood. Two good, solid, teeth that looked far too big for your mouth. Two teeth that resemble chicklet gum. Two teeth that, truth be told, morphed you suddenly from my small boy, into something else entirely.

You aren't the first of my children to go through this transformation, to have the space fill, and yet, it hits me just the same. The big boy teeth do something to a mama, they're a visible mark of change, of growth.

I welcome them, I welcome change, as it's a gift to grow, but also I wince. The passage of time, however slow it feels at present, is a bittersweet thing. Even if I asked you, not to grow those teeth, you do it anyway, they do it, anyway. Time is a blessing and it is a curse.

I look back upon the image, and I smile, and I pull you in close. I allow my eyes to follow your every feature, the curve of your nose, the freckles that splatter it, your big, beautiful eyes. I then see them there plain as day, those teeth. A reminder that I've had eight most wonderful years with you, and I pray for many, many more.

I find gratefulness in the big boy teeth, even though of course, it means the years of baby teeth, and spaces so vast I never thought they'd never be filled, are over. I find gratefulness in the opportunity to watch you grow. I consider it a great joy to look back, regardless of how it hurts this mama's heart.

For I know one day, all too soon, I'll look back on you at eight, and my arms will ache for the smallness of you now. Your face will one day be covered in stubble, and that goofy, wee, grin of yours will resemble that of a man.

I know this, and so I resign myself to treasure all the bits now. It is one of my greatest joys, mothering you, teeth, or no teeth. Just, perhaps, slow down a bit, okay?

Love you more,