Thursday, December 20, 2012


 *asking for some prayers for our Pia baby....tomorrow morning, 6:30am EST is her CT scan. 4 hours of NPO for my constant snacker, plus the sedation, makes for a nervous mommy. Please pray it all goes smoothly and that our doctor gets all the information he needs to proceed. Thank you!*

Gianna lost her first tooth this past Friday. The losing of teeth is probably the most bizarre milestone of parenting. There's just something a bit off about storing bone fragments in a Ziplock baggie. What am I supposed to do with the tooth? What is my obligation here? Do I keep every.single. tooth? To what end?

I am not good at keepsakes; the best my kids can hope for is the Ziplock to be labeled with a Sharpie and shoved in my underwear drawer, where I'll stumble upon it now and again with a shudder because I really, really don't like teeth. Especially teeth no longer secured firmly to their gums.

I kinda want to throw the teeth away but oh, the heresy! Why do we do these things? Asks I, the burier of placentas under rose bushes. Maybe a little bit because I made those teeth and that placenta, they are flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone!

But mostly I think mothers have an urge to collect and commemorate, to remember and treasure because we sense that we are the storehouses of our children's memories. We alone see them in their quiet moments and loud ones, in secret and in public. We guard their stories carefully in order to dust them off and air them in the right moments. We can say to the newly-made big brother, "When you were a baby I held you so and I hummed this song and you smiled at me and I loved to look at you!" or to our nervous first-day-of-school child, "Your first time at the swimming pool you were a little bit scared but even so, you jumped right in and we said, "Look, that is what we call brave!"

We are the holders of the strange and the silly and serious and the sad and the joyful. We are here for it all, sharing in the struggles and triumphs. Our presence of mind says to our children, "I see you. I have great joy in you." We are the keepers of teeth.


  1. Many prayers and hugs for baby Pia and the rest of your family! I hope everything goes well. Please keep us updated.

    Oh, and my mom definitely kept all of our teeth. She showed me the plastic baggie when I was home for a visit last week! (I'm 31, by the way). It was a little weird and very sweet at the same time. I have a feeling I will also be a "keeper of the teeth" with my babies!

  2. I feel like that needs to be a club or a ministry or something..."The Keepers of Teeth"

  3. Praying for Pia. :) And for mama too.

  4. Threw every single baby tooth away. All 8 kids. I am not a tooth person. Now, they have big crates of other keepsakes. I wish I didn't feel the need to keep all of that stuff!!