So, I signed up for babies when I was 27.
It was like an internal call to cradle another. One coming from deep down inside my belly. It took me 2 years to convince my lover to sign up alongside me. Another 3 for the universe to hear our united call. But once we got our signatures the right way, we were blessed with our three babies pretty fast. We were gifted an eldest wise one, a fiery middle red and lastly my little wingman. All babies a perfect expressions of our love. All held close in our deepest hearts. All divine expressions of themselves.
Due to genetics – that being mammary glands – for the first few years, it was all about the mama. This is because the mama feeds the babe more, holds the babe more and is basically with the babe more. I breast feed continually for 6 years. All the while – with buckets of soaking nappies up to my armpits and a new acceptance of appropriate sleeping patterns – I was told not to wish the time away too fast.
The days were slow but the weeks seemed kinda fast.
My babes that were signed off on and called for so hard and for so long did seem to hit their milestones pretty quick. They can all now use a knife and fork. They can all now put on their own seatbelt. Last week for the first time, they all surfed on on the same wave, standing at the same time. I watch them meet their milestones. I watch them grow up tall. And as I do, I feel them move away from being my babes. Shift away from me being their mama. As I watch what I signed up for grow out into the big wide world.
My eldest wise one moves methodically. All her firsts are celebrated with loads of accolades and photographic evidence. My fiery middle red charges furiously behind. She’s often covered in blood and bruises from living at her edge and trying to do all her firsts too fast. My wingman, my youngest lad, he takes his time. He watches. He wanders. He waits. All his firsts unfold at a unhurried pace and they often go unseen.
Probably because we’re all telling him to keep up.
But last Monday, at the age of 6 and a half, my wingman grew up just like his sisters had before him.
Because he lost his first tooth.
He called out to me from the porch, standing in his hooded jedi knight dressing gown, as he proudly held out his hand. In it, he cradled his first baby tooth. As perfect as white porcelain. Shaped and sharp. A point from which which he had tasted his first foods and created his first words. From where he had known how to shape his smiles as he discovered how to make the world laugh. Where he set firm his intentions of where to go, how to get there and who to be when he arrived.
In holding his own pointed tooth, I saw him hold the he last part of his baby-hood in his own hands. Making me look through whispering tears at my own hands – that I would cradle babies no more.
And that they were all beginning to move off and to live there own lives.
Think heart openers, inversions and bhramari.
Change can often leave us with a sense of loss. And they say that when your child’s teeth start to fall, your baby – the one you signed up for – is gone. They begin growing into their next phase of development. They step up into their next phase of life. Where the mama isn’t quite so important. Or quite so shiny. Or so necessary.
Which is something I hadn’t realised I’d signed up for at all.
We can grieve for that which we had because we feel uncertain for what is to come. It makes it harder when we’ve wished for something so hard. Or so long. When we’ve poured so much of ourselves in. When we’ve sacrificed so much of ourselves out. Letting go of all that we had so that we could be there fully for all there can be. To feel there openly. To surrender there instinctually.
And love there with the whole of your being.
My favourite translation of grief is “love that has no-where to go.” Whether that love slips away quietly, is pulled from you abruptly, or in my case on Monday – your love looses their first tooth and grows up. Whether the shift is methodological and has been wobbled steadily out. Or fast and furious, being ripped with a lot of blood. Or maybe you forgot to watch while it was loosening and unfolding at his own quiet, unhurried pace. When we watch how our world constantly change it reminds us of the impermanence that surrounds us.
While making us appreciate the grace that lies within us.
My wingman looked confused at me when his happy news bought tears to my eyes. He placed his tooth in the palm of my hand and told me he knew what would make me feel better. He went searching and in an age returned holding the fairy house. He took from me his tooth and smiled his gappy grin. Now the tooth fairy would know where to find him. My baby wingman now stepping up to be the child who I now see I also signed up for.
A child who still believes in magic.
Just like me.