Monday, January 24, 2011

Little Boy Days

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Annie Dillard

“Mom, my tooth fell out!” Gabe charged into the kitchen. A tiny, grey pebble-of-a-tooth lay in his palm. “Can you believe it? It’s O-U-T!”

He smiled. There was a wide, fresh gap where the tooth had been. Cute. Darn cute.

“Gabe, that’s so cool! May I see?”

“Sure, but don’t lose it. It may be worth a dollar.”

He dropped the tooth into my hand. It was strange, that little tooth. Gabe had taken a header from our bed when he was one. That tiny little incisor caused some damage. Stitches. A trip to the oral surgeon. When the doctor pushed it back up into Baby Gabe’s gum line, we expected it to stay put for only a few months. That was a few years ago.

“There’s just one problem,” Gabe said, as he paced the kitchen floor.

“What’s that?”

“I can’t be Captain Black Tooth anymore.” Suddenly his toothless grin disappeared. Sadness had stolen his little-boy smile.

“Oh,” I said. He was right. It hardly seemed to fit. And we’d spent a hundred hours sailing the bedroom seas under his command.

“Unless,” he said. “Unless, I can the coolest pirate ever!” He jumped up and down. “And I know who I’ll be,” he said.


“Captain Ghost Tooth, of course!”

Of course.

And Captian Ghost Tooth was off. To find his brothers. To share the new name. To plunk the tooth in a Ziploc baggie and slide it under his pillow.

I stood for a moment and watched him go. Missing Cap’n Black Tooth a little.

But looking forward to the adventures of Captain Ghost Tooth, too.

Thank you, Lord, for the days I’ve had to teach, train, and enjoy my sons. They’ve blended into a wonderful, wonderful life.


  1. I just love the creativity in that little boy! Hurray for Captain Ghost Tooth!