25 Mar
2015

Our Last First Lost Tooth

girl holding her first lost baby tooth

Last week I noticed our five-year-old’s bottom teeth looked crooked. I assumed molars were making an appearance and crowding the front teeth. A few days ago, she asked me to touch one of her bottom teeth. What I thought was a crooked and firmly planted tooth was actually a wibbly, wobbly tooth trying to vacate its spot.

She was excited. I was appalled. How dare our baby girl loose a tooth? While something exciting was happening in her world, a parenting chapter was abruptly coming to an end. I was not prepared. I knew she would eventually lose teeth, but I didn’t think eventually was this week. Monday morning I attempted to pull the tooth. With two brothers who swallowed their first lost teeth, she was concerned she too would end up digesting her tooth. All I did was touch the tooth, and she was crying. We’d have to risk it disappearing. Pulling the tooth was not an option.

I sent her to preschool only to have her lose the tooth minutes before I picked her up. She was the first one out the door eager to tell me her story. One look at the toothless grin, and my eyes filled with tears. I was surrounded by moms and wanted to flee to our vehicle to avoid looking emotionally silly. I said all the expected mom lines, “How exciting!” “You’re getting so big.” “I wonder what the tooth fairy will bring!” Multiple hugs were administered.

Inside I was lamenting. “Put that tooth back in your mouth this instant young lady.”  “You haven’t even had that baby tooth for that long.” “You are officially on the road to being a big kid, and I do not approve.” My baby had lost her first tooth. I no longer have babies. I realize I haven’t had a baby in this house for quite some time. The loss of a baby tooth was a giant slap in the face of my denial. Mama, these kids are growing fast. Buckle up and hold on. Time is a much greater foe than Voldemort or the Wicked Witch. It has crept up on me countless times in the the last 13 years. I find myself breathless at times with the changes ever whirling around me. I’ll hug a child only to realize their not-so-little head no longer rests on my waist. Our tween has legitimate hair growing above his lip and thoughts must be given to shaving. SHAVING! What in the world is happening? I’ll watch a son reach something in a cabinet that just yesterday he couldn’t standing on tip-toe.

I’m forever grateful for these healthy children who reach milestones when experts say they should and are healthy enough to grow teeth. I’ve spent hours and hours over the last 5 1/2 years looking at our daughter’s smile. I’ve watched it change and morph from nothing but pink gums to the full-set of whites she had until this week. This parenting gig is an honor as well as a grief-giving experience. Lucky for us, the tooth fairy even managed to fulfill her job and deliver one shiny $1 coin.


 
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