My six-year-old son lost his tooth last night. First one. His baby tooth. Pause. Quiet. He’s really growing up now. I didn’t think I would get sad over this tooth. I did cry at his kindergarten graduation after telling myself I wouldn’t. Then I saw his teacher all teary-eyed and I thought, why is she crying? She does this every year. I wanted to say to her, “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it, I say!” and then I thought, so what, and let myself have a little public cry. It’s all his teacher’s fault.
But losing the first tooth, well, I didn’t cry, although I’m sure if someone was sobbing in front of me, I may have released the waterworks. I know he has many more baby teeth to lose. I didn’t feel a hint at sadness when my older son lost his first tooth, or at the kindergarten graduation for that matter. Just elation, happiness. Now, with my youngest, it’s bittersweet as they say. He’s reached school-age now, so his baby years are far behind him, yes. Now I see I may have resisted just a touch, for the door of babyhood is officially closed.
We discussed the tooth fairy before bed when I mentioned she doesn’t come unless you’re sound asleep, and she knows whether or not you’re asleep. Then, his eyes of full wonder, revealed he heard quiet footfalls, or maybe those are my words. Er, steps outside, he heard something.
“It must be her,” I tell him.
“Yes.” Pause. “And, do you know what she wears?”
“No,” I say.
“Well, she wears a white circular dress.”
“A tutu?” I ask.
“Yes, a tutu,” he tells me now, “with butterfly wings, and she carries a black stick with a big tooth on the end of it. Or, actually, the stick is white underneath. The black is only a covering.” This is important.
I take one look at his precious, pearly white and want to preserve it. I want to frame it in a shadow box, or perhaps, lay it on cushioned velvet and lock it up forever.
This tender moment didn’t last long when I quickly shifted gears realizing that now I must be organized about storing my kids’ teeth so as not to confuse them. It would be a travesty to mix up these beloved treasures. I then wondered if my parents, er, I mean the former fairies, even kept my teeth, along with those of my five siblings. It’s nothing I ever thought to ask. Ever. Did they have good intentions from the start, get them all mixed up, and give up? I don’t begrudge them if they did. I do wonder what happened to all the little teeth. Oh, wait, they’re with the tooth fairy.
Chances are I will have enough trouble storing two sets of teeth. You’re probably rolling your eyes at me now. I’m sure you’re more organized. Along with being handed the swaddled babes at birth, I would have benefited from some kind of organized kit that included keepsakes from the tooth fairy, such as trinkets, silky bags, and teeth containers. Perhaps, this special kit exists. I bet it does. Then this losing teeth event would be followed by a magical memory. So far, I’m never ready when they lose the tooth. Ever.
I’m the parent who goes to the store at the last minute because I never have cash, asking the cashier if he happens to have any special coins. Yes, I’m kind of a last-minute gal. Or, you could say I’m spontaneous. It looks as if my son will be losing another tooth soon, very soon, like tonight or tomorrow. So, now I have forewarning, plenty of it. Note to self, always have extra cash in case my child loses a tooth in the middle of the night and getting cash/coins is not possible.
Will I show my kids their teeth some day? Would there be an “Ah” moment, or would they laugh hysterically, spilling them all over the floor? I can see it now. We’ll be searching for the little white nuggets frantically under a table or a chair. Is it better for these cherished babies to stay with the tooth fairy?
Do you know where your baby teeth are now? Are they resting securely in a jeweled box, silky bag, or golden vase? Perhaps, a simple ziplock or tupperware? Or, are they in the hands of the tooth fairy?