He'd lost a few already, but this was the first one that I got to pull out for him. He winced, then with surprise looked at what had happened. Then, when the excitement wore off, he realized that his mouth hurt a little bit. Not too much, just a bit.
It was one of his top front teeth. One of those little baby teeth that has been in there since the beginning. I held the tiny little sliver in my hand, feeling its smooth sheen with my thumb.
I thought about the early days when that tooth first came in. His gummy smile morphed into the toothy grin of a real child. The infant Miles had suddenly turned into a boy. He could eat things now.
Miles has always had a tiny, little mouth. His smiles seems too big for his mouth. His gums jump out from under his scrunched up lips when he sees something funny or, perhaps, has a funny joke to share with others. His humor has poured out of that little mouth for so long and I always considered him to be quite advanced in language and vocabulary.
There are still days when we ask him how he is feeling to which he would reply with "I'm find."
When the topic comes up, Miles will often chime in that he had fond memories of "the folk music vegetable."
These things make me laugh as much as the ways I love to laugh around him for the witty and creative humor that he dishes out so often. These little things remind me that my grown up boy still has more growing up to do.
I am reminded to enjoy these things while they last. I'll never pull another top-front tooth from that little mouth.
I had cleared the space for the adult tooth to move in. Next door the other adult front tooth (one that fell out on its own) has already moved half way in. I can see those big teeth shifting things inside that tiny little area. Those big chompers will no doubt change the tiny grin into a big boy smile.
As I often think about the past, time moves on. So much of the future has already flown by, now behind us. So much of it is sealed up in things like that little tooth.
We'll tuck it away and eventually bring it out again to laugh and think about that little mouth and how it's smile changed everything forever.