Sweet Home New Mexico: Childhood passes by in blink of an eye

My six-year-old son is the youngest child in the first grade at his school. He has an early September birthday, missing the cut-off for kindergarten by just six days. Because of that, my husband and I sent him to private school for kindergarten, as we felt he was beyond ready. While we know it was the right choice, it has made him and will continue to make him, for the next 11 years of his schooling, the youngest person in his grade. Everyone else in his class at school had lost at least one tooth. It was absolutely killing him he still had all of his pretty baby teeth. He had one that had been loose for awhile, wriggling it as often as he could so it would come out already and he could catch up with the status quo. Not wanting him to swallow it while eating (because how would I explain that to the tooth fairy?), I pulled his first tooth a few weeks ago. Then I sat on the floor next to him and cried.

It terrifies me how much faster time goes by now that I have kids than when I didn’t. I want to savor all the moments of my life as a mother, even the hard moments, of which they are many. Parenthood is the hardest and most wonderful thing I have ever done in my life. I’m thankful for a husband who helps carry me along and wants to be a good father to our kids. We make a good team.

As I watched my oldest child marvel at his snaggle-toothed smile in the mirror, I just let the tears fall. It was another one of those first and only moments in my life. My first child loses his first tooth. This time has come so much sooner than I expected it or wanted it to come. This season of my life, of raising small children, is such a short season. It’s hard and sometimes heartbreaking, but I know, and have seen that it will pass much too quickly. For my six-year old, that season of him being small and totally dependent on me is coming to a close, and I have bittersweet emotions about that. He can make his own sandwiches for lunch, cut up his own food, walk by himself to go to school, complete his homework without being asked and showers and brushes his teeth all on his own. There are so many things he doesn’t need me for anymore, and as life goes on, there will be less and less for which he needs me. The rest of his life begins with losing teeth, it seems. Sad, but true. It’s my goal to savor all these moments that make my life so sweet.