Firsts and lasts

Whit lost his third tooth this weekend.  As usual, I cried as I hugged him, celebrated one of life’s passages even as I mourned it.  Is there a more tangible marker of growing up than teeth falling out?  I don’t think so.

Later that day, Grace and I were driving home from her soccer game and talking about Whit’s tooth.

“Does it make you sad, Mummy?”

“Well, yes, sort of, Grace.  I mean, you know that.”

“But it doesn’t make you sad when I lose my teeth, right?”

I glanced back at her in the backseat, tousled from her season-ending soccer game, cheeks pink.

“Well, Grace, not really.  It’s always the first time when something like that happens for you.  And so it’s exciting.”

“And you know that Whit still has those things ahead, right?  He’s your baby.”  She was looking out the window.

“Well, yes.”  Was she upset?  I couldn’t tell.  We drove in silence for a few moments.

“I get to have all the firsts.  And Whit gets to have all the lasts.”

Of course, predictably, my eyes swam with tears behind my sunglasses.  I nodded and swallowed.  She’s right.  And how immensely fortunate I am that my life contains so many of both.


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13 Comments

  1. Posted November 16, 2011 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    i feel this. the teeth. oh, and the legs. the first, the lasts. the speed. thank you, for this beautiful tale of time passing, of wise children, of a mama present in love.

  2. Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    beautiful, and true…

    thank you.

  3. Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    What a smart girl. She’s right, of course, and that pretty well encapsulates the pros and cons of birth order. How brilliant that she understands it innately.

  4. Kristen
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Such a wise young lady. You are very lucky.

  5. Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    And how amazing that she’s on your wavelength, reading the world just as you are, with insight and depth and understanding beyond her years. Thank you for sharing your children with us!

  6. Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Oh, LIndsey, I wish you had three kids! Your insights are always so helpful in navigating parts of life. Yesterday, my youngest was telling me how she liked being the youngest because they always get the best outifts. (I’m not sure what that means, but I just heard that she is comfortable and happy in her place.) My oldest often tells me she likes being the oldest. I haven’t thought about this much but I should have been recording it for when they change their minds and become all negativey and teen aged. I fear I overlook my middle child because he isn’t the first or the last…… been there before and will be there again. But, who am I kidding? He is the only boy and each kid is so different….

  7. Margaret
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Wow. And now my eyes are swollen with tears. I love how you capture these moments. Most of us, really all of us, have beautiful conversations like this sprinkled throughout our days (if we are lucky!). But I, and I suspect many others, are so busy racing from one thing to the next that we don’t stop to pay enough attention, to embrace the symbols of growth and maturity, to save them for posterity. Your blog is an incredible gift to your children. When they are grown and raising their own kids (your grandchildren!), they will have a great guide to take them through each day, and you can all reflect upon these precious memories together…

  8. Posted November 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Kids are such little philosophers, aren’t they?

  9. Posted November 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    This is lovely. It’s remarkable how our children tenderly provide perspective and solace, for themselves and for us.

  10. Posted November 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful and insightful as always.
    H xo

  11. Posted November 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    So wonderful how kids can sum things up so perfectly and succinctly. Firsts and lasts…I get them all in one lump with mine. No wonder I’m always smiling through misty eyes. Thank you xox

  12. Mylene
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I like this post of yours. 🙂 Very touching.

  13. Posted November 19, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Oh, she’s so perceptive.