Along the way to becoming a man, along the way to that first kiss, first car, first beer, first love (none of these in any particular order, I’m sure), and all the rest of the things that go into being a man, there are many milestones to pass.

The boy– like I’m sure I was–is in a hurry to make all of these things happen. I’ve already started telling him what I’m sure I heard along the way: don’t rush it, because before long you’ll be looking down at your boy and wondering how he turned six and how just a few weeks later he can wake you up to show you something like this.

The boy moves fast. It scares me. I realized yesterday that I moved into my house ten years ago this month. I realized that in that time, a boy I knew back then (who was my son’s age at the time) grew old enough to work at my grocery store. And then my kid wakes me up to tell me he lost a tooth, his first.

I spent a lot of my life–probably 30 years–wanting life to hurry up. I wanted to be in high school, I wanted to be out of high school, I wanted to be 21, I wanted to be out of college, I wanted a job, I wanted a better job, I wanted a better job, then I wanted out of the better job, then I wanted, and wanted, and wanted. And then I had my boys and I’ve ached for time to stop.

I know–really, I do–that it will keep getting better. I know there are many more milestones along the way. I’ve accepted the inevitability of it all.

What gives me some peace is the fact I can look in these eyes and still see wonder, joy, and youth. As long as I keep seeing that, we’ll all be fine.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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5 Responses

  1. KenP says:


    You call it milestones. Soon the kid will call it Millstones. 🙂

    Time to thinking about putting Memories on the old I-Pod. They won’t be misty-water-colored but golden ones! Like the one’s your folks have.

  2. M says:

    When I look in this little man’s eyes, I see “my”little boy, losing his first tooth. The same little boy that wished sooooo hard to be “old enough”! Now you will spend the next 30 years + wishing soooo hard for everything to slow down. Treasure every second, minute, hour and day.. Time is so fleeting. All those seconds will soon be yesterdays! It’s every parent’s dream to share ALL the MILESTONES that make beautiful memories.

    The joy we get from a beautiful little toothless smile cannot be measured.

  3. Da Goddess says:

    It’s a tough one, this growing up business is. Every step is a double edged sword. We’re proud our children have reached each milestone, but devastated that it strips away another layer, another cord that binds us to one another.

    Your boy’s smile is as beautiful as it is bittersweet…for all of us. Watching him grow up reminds us that time slips away for all of us, for our children as well.

    While back in San Diego 10 days ago or thereabouts, I saw Carson, my mom’s neighbor’s son. He was no longer the little boy with the Harry Potter glasses. He was this tall young man who was long and lean as a string bean. Riding a skateboard with the ease of someone who’s been at that for years. His shock of blond hair catching the golden sun. He wasn’t that little boy anymore. He is now Carson the young man. Already on his second car. Working hard at two jobs that he really likes, going to his first college classes.

    I look at my own children and lament the passing of time, the moments that have flown by. My son still has a few more years of being a kid, I hope. My daughter has already moved into another phase of her life (for ill or for good, and right now it’s not good)…a phase where none of us matter to her. I miss the days when she was small enough to hold in my arms, and even if I couldn’t calm her enough to stop her crying, at least I knew I had done everything I could to ease her pain or provide for her needs. She still needs to be held, but won’t let anyone near her. And ah, yes, this is where it becomes obvious that this is a post for my blog and no longer a comment for yours.

    Cherish every tooth and every smile, Otis.

  4. Astin says:

    A few more like that, and he could be a helluva hockey player. That’s how it works, right? Time to reconsider that move to Canada. It’s what’s best for the boy’s NHL career.

  1. September 7, 2010

    […] eldest just lost his first tooth. I find myself tearing up over this milestone because I remember both my kids at that age and it […]

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