Big, tiny-toothed, “saliva’ed," sloppy smile.

My son and I brushed our teeth together this morning. He balanced on the bathroom sink, stuck a spider-man toothbrush in his mouth, watched me apply the paste to my own brush… and smiled.

He stood there shakily, wide-eyed and watching. He took his gaze off of my reflection in the mirror only once, to show me his foam-covered teeth up close.

Big smile. Big, tiny-toothed, “saliva’ed” and sloppy smile.

I used to watch my father like that. He could do just about anything, and I’d watch with uninhibited awe. I remember watching him in Church – just sitting there - listening, praying, singing. I watched him sit and think. And walk and run. I loved to watch him take in a ballgame, or even the news on TV.

I used to watch him shave – he’d lather up his face: cheeks, neck, chin and even his lips. I’d watch him lick the shaving cream away and then spit it into the sink.

I loved to watch my father drink coffee. He’d bring the cup to his mouth and blow, ever-so-gently, and the steam would disappear into his mustache. After taking a sip, he’d sigh with impossible satisfaction and look over at me. 

And I’d smile. Every time.

Do my kids really watch me that way? Do they? Really? Do they smile? Ben watched me brush my teeth this morning. What did he watch yesterday? Did he see the way I looked at his Mama? Was he watching when I slammed the door?

Does he watch me drink coffee?