The definition of “hole” is that of an empty space, a hollow place. I know from holes, as my heart has quite a few of them. Plus, I live in Chicago, so my winters are spent swerving to miss driving through potholes. Those holes suck. And one of the best pieces of writing I’ve even done was about a metaphorical hole. It won an award and everything. (You can read about that hole HERE.)
These days I am in love with a hole that happens to be smack dab in the middle of my older boys’s face. He lost his two front teeth within a few days a couple of weeks ago. I am inexplicably charmed by his new smile. It is glorious, that hole in the middle of his mouth. I look at it and melt into a puddle of warm motherly goo each and every time I see it. There is so much to celebrate about that hole.
That hole means that everything is working as it should inside my boy’s body. Baby teeth are falling away, adult teeth are preparing to make their debut.
That hole means that I mother a seven year old. My boy is three years older than his older sister will ever grow to be and all indications are that he will keep getting older.
That hole means that I get to marvel at one of the wonders of human development each and every day for the next few months while the new teeth descend.
That hole means that things like pudding and noodles and cheese get squeezed through places they do not normally go. This is simultaneously disgusting and hilarious.
That hole means that I have a visual reminder each and every day with each and every smile that my boy is growing up and conquering new milestones.
That hole is a symbol of my son’s deep pride in growing older himself. He may moan and groan a bit about how hard it is to eat certain foods (“Can you slice this apple, Mom?”), but, just like me, he is thrilled to be changing and getting older.
I love my boy. Somehow, without even knowing it was possible, I love him more without those two little enamel pieces of himself. I love his Vampirish grins and the silly games he plays at the dinner table with his food now. I love how when he smiles up at me I am still surprised to see the gummy black hole that takes up so much space. I love how he explains to his toddler brother that he, too, will lose his teeth someday. I love it all.
Motherhood can be a heartbreaking kick in the teeth (pun intended) some days, but these days, seeing that hole in the middle of my kid’s head, it just fills me with hope and gratitude.