Monday, August 23, 2010

Let Me Show You a Story of Coco's Front Teeth

They came in all cute, like this, poking pearly white through the gums. But they had a problem -- defective enamel.
Thus, the slightly pitted teeth turned into brown and crumbling teeth.
Which led to this -- major dental work under anesthesia.

His dentist armor-plated them and tried to make them look as natural as possible.
Two weeks later he was running and, you guessed it, hit his teeth.  Hard.  We thought they'd fall out, but I prayed like crazy and they stayed in.  But they never looked as good after that.  And the dentist said they'd be more prone to infection after trauma like that.
Fast forward about a year. Coco starts having big pustules above his teeth that hurt and drain when they're popped or bumped.  (You can thank me now for not posting pictures of that!) We return to the dentist.

Sure enough, all four top front teeth are abscessed. They all have to be removed.  Coco looks like this for two months. Except the gaping holes went away after a few days.
The dentist makes Coco a glued-in retainer with four new prosthetic teeth.  He looks so handsome.

Two hours later.
Three hours later.
We return to the dentist.  He saves the day by fixing and replacing the retainer. AND (bless him) does not charge us for the second visit.
Coco has a super week and a half with his new chompers.
No words.

Here they are. Waiting for repair. For Mommy to decide it's worth it to pay to fix them and try again. For now he's happily sticking his tongue out with his mouth closed and chomping from the side and not eating corn on the cob.

Tonight's Message Brought to You by Uncle Will

"And summer's lease hath all too short a date." 
-- William Shakespeare
Farewell, summer. It's been real.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Scud's Favorite Comic (And Mine)

For those of you who don't know Scud, he has a terrific sense of humor.  He cracks me up all. the. time.

He carries this comic in his pocket sometimes and it makes both of us laugh every time we see it.  It is from the comic strip, F Minus by Tony Carillo. Hope it's ok for me to post it here.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Beginnings and Endings -- Peanut Turns One

One year ago, at just about this time, a child was born.  It was serene and sacred, a quiet scene, a beautiful and blissful welcoming. (You can read the story here.)

While pregnant with Peanut, I experienced the normal number of garden-variety aches and discomforts.  I had at least my fair share of anxiety.

But, in retrospect his pregnancy felt much like a deep breath, his birth a sigh.

When I first looked in his eyes I felt 31 years' urgent ache melt away.  Here was my friend, the gentle joyful spirit who had trusted me enough to wait for me to be his mother.  Until that moment I had no idea how much I'd missed him.

Now, the newborn boy whose peach fuzz head fit in the palm of my hand is one year old. 

His eyes are bright with joy and laughter. His voice tinkles and coos and squeals, playing on his throat and teeth and tongue the music of our language. Soon his words will roll into the world, announcing the thoughts that make him unique in all the universe. As he learns to walk, his feet march out the rhythm of his fierce desire for independence. He longs to step into the wide world and do what he came here to do.

Never have I mourned the passing of a baby year as I am grieving the end of this child's first year.

Oh, how I will miss him! 

Tangled up in his growing is the passage of my mother-self.  I don't yet feel the settling peace and certainty that we are done having children.  I also don't feel the yearning for a missing child, the surety that there is at least one more spirit waiting to join us. And so I know that this may be the end, that I may never again know the intimacy of being the mother of a baby.

Tonight I kissed his forehead as I put him to bed, knowing that the baby I nursed to sleep tonight will wake up tomorrow as a one year old.

The pain and joy and power of it all was far too much to keep to myself, so I had to pour it out here.

My baby, likely my very last sweet baby, is ONE YEAR OLD. 

{Awed pause here.}

He was born on a wisp of heaven and his birth restored my faith in birth.

Now, each day he restores my faith. 

He teaches and teaches and teaches me hope. Life is good -- all of it -- the beginnings and the endings and the just-keeping-ons.

With each joyful, toddling step he is reminding me. Life is meant to be lived with face turned forward, arms raised high, heart open to welcome the joy that waits ahead of us, even as it holds safe the treasure of the joys that lay behind.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Growing Up -- Conversations With Scud and Mashuga

A couple of weeks ago, Scud plopped down on the couch, heaved a sigh and said "Mom, there are three reasons I don't want to grow up and three reasons I do."

"Tell me," I encouraged. 

Another sigh. 

"Well, first when I grow up I'll have to get a job and work all the time. I like being a kid and having my freedom. Second, when I grow up I'll have to, like, budget and be careful with my money and pay bills and stuff. Now I just save enough money for candy or soda and then I just buy it."

"Yep. You won't be able to do that as much anymore."

Solemn nod. 

"And the third reason. When you're a grown up, people give you really dumb presents.  Like last Christmas, someone gave you a picture frame.  A picture frame!  There wasn't even a picture in it."

Of course I laughed.  I like getting picture frames as presents.

"So, Scott, what are the three reasons you do want to grow up?"

He takes a deep breath and then all at once says, "I wanna go on a mission! I wanna get married! I want to eat escargot!"

What a kid.

So, fast forward a few weeks.  It is morning.  We are on vacation and sleeping at a hotel.  Mashuga crawls into bed with me and curls close, warm and sleepy and delicious.

"Mom, I really don't want to grow up," he says.

"Oh?  Why is that?"

"I'm really having fun and just like being little and being a little kid. Plus, when I grow up, this world is going to run out of oil."

I stifle a giggle.  Who knew that he worried about things like this?

"Yeah and when the world runs out of oil, we won't be able to use cars and stuff and they'll have to start tearing down houses to mine for oil there."

"You think so?  I think that if the world runs out of oil we'll just figure out better ways of doing things.  We'll have to find better ways to use electricity for cars and harness the power of the sun and the wind."

He thinks about this for a minute.

"Actually, Mom, I think I do want to grow up.  Cuz I'm going to be a scientist and I need to grow up so I can invent that kind of stuff so when we do run out of oil it will be ok because I'll make a better way to make electricity and cars and stuff."

Yes, Mashuga.  As much as I hate to see it happen, you'd better grow up.  Whether you're going to be a scientist or not, the world needs you.