Most mornings my world is consumed with the mundane. There is an unconscious rhythm that guides me as I move from brushing my teeth to packing lunches to driving my daughter to school. The sounds of water running, the thump as my feet hit the ground, and the hum of the heater as it turns off are my permanent guests. There is little interruption in the dissonance of the sounds, but sometimes, in this quotidian routine, there is a streak of bright hue that forces me to take notice.

Yesterday was one of those days, where the momentum of the rhythm willed the strings in a different direction. My daughter lost her very first tooth, the mark of her very early arrival into adulthood or as she says, “When all my teeth fall out, am I going to have big people teeth?” For the first time, she smiled at the world with a proud gap, her tongue peeking out pink.  I struggled with her newly minted space, knowing that she is moving farther away from the freedom of infancy and toddlerhood.

She is growing. Her limbs are longer. She wears pigtails in her hair. She says words like magnify and actually. She asks questions, wondering big things and little things. She is learning how to read, adding and subtracting. She is only one month shy of her fifth birthday.

And I am watching it all. Wondering how things will turn out. I sigh and want to tell her to slow down. The voice in my head is yelling, I don’t want a gap, but a perfect row of teeth. It’s me holding on to time, clinging to how it was, instead of how it is going to be. I am wincing everytime I lose.

I’ve memorized my dance with the mundane, the swivels and the kicks of the ordinary routine. But sometimes, a subtle change, a tiny transformation, gives me pause.

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How did you react when there is a subtle change to your routine? Does it cause you to reflect? How did you react when your child lost his or her first teeth? Did it give you pause?

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