Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Tooth

"Jack, supplies," Jane thunks a bowl of ice on the table, rectangular mirror and wash cloth in hand. "If you just sit here," she points to the kitchen bench, "I'll hold the mirror."

I plop a stick of butter into the Kitchen-Aid mixer, watch Jack reef on his loose tooth. "Wow, that looks like it hurts." He bends if forward, back, forward. I turn to Jane, "He's tough; that's what he is."

"He's a BOY," she adds, "that's what he is."

They rotate: ice, mirror, bend the tooth, mirror, ice, have Momma try. Jane flops the wash cloth on the table, leans on an elbow. I add brown sugar and eggs to the cookies, whirl the mixer.

And then, he pulls it out. We cheer. The children erupt, I smile, pat his back. And I watch over his shoulder. He holds it up, jagged white pebble, and whispers, "Look, a newborn baby."

Tenderness, folded like moth wings, unfurls. "Can I have a tooth holder," he says. So, I dig out an old baby food jar. The tooth rattles like a metronome inside.

"Jane, let's go downstairs and look at my tooth and do the puzzle," he shouts, and ragtag band of adoring sisters trot down stairs to look at his tooth.

Another moment, another milestone.


1852. Up before six Tuesday morning and Jack's incredulous, "Momma, did you stay up ALL night?!"

1853. How before bed Jane kisses my hand and croons, "You're so sweet," then cuddles my it to her face.

1854. Lucy playing house, "Raise your hand if you're a marigold."

1855. How when Myra cries Lucy lulls, "Yes, my dear?"

1856. How when I tell Jack he can sit by me at lunch, he won't take a bite until I do.

1857. How at the first sign that tooth is loose he bursts, "Can we have a party when my tooth falls out?"

1858. How Jane clomps upstairs after half an hour, "I don't know why they think seeing teeth is so interesting."

1859. A tooth party with all the fixin's.

1860. New pants.

1861. How Lucy rotates a load of laundry when I mention it needs being done.

1862. How Jane makes name tags for place settings when we have company and makes a big card: Find Your Name.

1863. How Lucy copies her.

1864. How Myra eats the core of her apple.

1865. Lucy trying to sound grown-up, "Black widows like BANANAS."

1866. Jack at breakfast, "If you let me make toast, I'll let you HOLD my tooth."

1867. How when I ask Jane what God's teaching her, she pauses, and says, "He's reminding me not to get angry when people do things I don't like."

1868. How Lucy makes me a card, "It's just important to write Momma whole bunch of times."

1869. How she hugs her dolly and sing-songs, "I'm thinking you're getting cold." And how she turns to me, "I'm taking my baby on a date to the store."

1870. How Jack reads a book while he brushes his teeth.

1871. How when I return from getting my pregnancy rhogam shot, Jane bounds to the door, "How was your rabies shot, Momma?"

1872. Lucy's explanation, "Jane let me use this toothbrush."

1873. How Myra toddles over, lays her head on my shoulders.

1874. How Jane sets a coffee cup out for me, grinds the coffee.

1875. Three girls gathered around to watch me brew it.

1876. How Lucy rotates another load of laundry without me asking.

1877. Lentil chili and fresh bread on the farm.

1878. The kids' new game: Mad Tea Party. The cacophony that ensues.

1879. The insight from my mom that God put beauty here to comfort us.

1878. Jack's affection to Myra, "Hi, little mother duck."

1879. Lucy's question, "Mom, wanna know what study means? It means win the race."

1880. Better than playing house, "We're pretending Jack's Peter Pan, and I'm Captain Hook," Lucy says. "And Peter Pan always wins on me," says adds.

1881. The deliberation to slow these days, enjoy them as they come.

holy     experience


Brandee Shafer said...

I love how I feel like I've been with all of you, in your house, after I read your posts. What a wonderful place to be.

Southern Gal said...

Another sweet post full of touching moments. The list is perfect.

Alisa said...

My favorite way to start the week....your list!

Stacy said...

I did love Jack's face in the first photo, but I'm glad he opened his eyes for the rest....those incredible, piercing blue eyes! He makes me want to see the world through them. :)

Robin said...

I always enjoy popping in on you and your cute little nuggets to see what new adventures you are up to =)
"Momma did you stay up all night"? Now that cracked me up and must be a global/universal perception from our children.

darnly said...

Awesome list. I can visualize your life with that list....maybe because that is life with wonderful, creative, excited children who love without baggage. It is obvious that your keeping the list of graces has taught you indeed to live fully in the moment, the moments each day.
God bless you!! and thanks for taking an "older" woman back.

Rosann said...

What a bright eyed little man he is. Always fun losing a tooth. :) You have a beautiful family and a great blog here.


Stefanie Brown said...

Beautiful list...
I always enjoy my visits here.
Have a wonderfully blessed day.

Amy Sullivan said...

Teeth are a big deal...celebrating them a must. The pictures you included were perfect!

Goat said...

Lucy rotating laundry and Jack finding a metaphor for the new relationship one has with a tooth that has fallen out. Priceless.

Some say "enjoy the moments" . I think what they mean is BE PRESENT IN EACH MOMENT. Don't wish your moments away. It's not that it isn't hard sometimes, but its where you find all the wonders you share each week.

Christina May Andrews said...

What a cute post. You are doing a great job making the most of life. AND your photos are beautiful!!

Keisha Valentina said...

"God put beauty here to comfort us..." wow. taking this to heart.

keLi said...

oh, the names you give your littles. he'll wear his tough, now that he knows you see it.

have missed the counting with you, friend, but i relished your list like it was my own.

emily wierenga said...

like moth wings...

how you see poetry in the every-day friend. it's beautiful.

btw, i love jack's expressions. :)

Corina Turner said...

What a brave kid! Only a few kids have the heart to pull out their own tooth. It would be better, though, if a dentist got to check on them after all that. BTW, do they visit their dentist regularly?

Craig and Bethany said...

Yup. :)

Kim said...

This felt like having a tall drink of iced tea. Refreshing and just what I needed.