It’s nothing special- just a head shot of him smiling, staring off to the side. I took it during lunch.
I’m not always good at picking up my big camera these days, but sitting there, in that ordinary moment, I felt a sense of urgency.
You see, E. has a very loose top tooth. He lost the two middle bottom teeth last fall and this top tooth has been wiggly now for months. It’s at the stage where we’re all surprised it hasn’t fallen out yet, and E.’s frustrated with it (but not frustrated enough to ask us to pull it out, for which I am extraordinarily grateful because the idea of yanking out a tooth creeps me right out).
And as we were sitting there, eating our lunch, laughing about something which I’ve already forgotten, it suddenly struck me.
E. is never going to have that smile again.
He will still smile, of course. There will be gaps in it for a while (probably a long while), and then his adult teeth will fill it in.
But it won’t be that smile, because losing those top teeth will change it irrevocably.
Some of my friends have older kids. I’ve seen just how BIG their top middle adult teeth are.
E. will be six next month.
He’s almost finished kindergarten.
He is simultaneously impossibly grown up and still so little.
I don’t usually mourn the passing of time with him. I love being the mother of a (sort-of) big kid.
But I’m going to miss that smile.
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