Our six year old recently marked an important milestone. For years he had watched all of his friends and classmates have it happen to them and was so bummed that he hadn’t experienced it yet himself.
It was agonizing for him to see them all enjoy something he couldn’t have. He would check almost everyday and it was obvious that it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. After almost two years of watching his classmates’ smiles grow and gap he was convinced it would never happen to him. That he would never lose his first tooth.
A few weeks ago as we were busily prepping for our March Break trip away, jamming in the last week of activities, packing and cramming all of our pre-vacation work in, he came to us with his finger in his mouth wiggling back and forth. This had happened a few times over the last two years, while so desperately wanting it to be true, he’d convinced himself that he had a wiggly tooth by wiggling his finger back and forth over a perfect intact tooth. There were even a few times when the teeth would loosen just enough for him to notice and then firm back up in his mouth. Such a tease for my little man.
He held the milestone of losing a first tooth up as a sign that his friends were growing up and he was being left behind. We tried consoling him with a list of explanations: that they’d fall out when they were ready, how his teeth loved him so much they didn’t want to leave yet, or that by waiting for them to fall out he’d have more practice time with his baby teeth and that’d his big boy teeth would be healthier and he wouldn’t need to get false teeth, like “Grappy”. He smiled at that one and declared he wanted false teeth. Hmm, that one backfired. Nothing seemed to make up for the fact that he was now officially the last one in his class to lose a single tooth.
That last week after lots of wiggling, twisting and crunchy snacks the tooth seemed as stubborn as ever and we thought it might not happen this time either for him. I crossed my fingers this would be the one for him though.
On my final day of work that week I got a call from my husband from the school he works at. When I answered he said, “Bud wants to talk to you.” I knew right away why he had called. “Guess what Mom? My tooth came out!” He was so excited and ready to burst with pride. He told me all about how it happened (thanks Mrs. Keddy), what his friends said, and how it felt to eat his first lunch without it. I could almost feel him radiating through the phone. He was so excited to have it happen to him and to finally be part of the “big kids club” at long last.
The tooth fairy came for her first of many visits to him that night. Now, only a few short weeks later we’re on the verge of another visit, but it will be hard to beat that first long-awaited one. Another last of the firsts behind us.
Tracy is a self-employed Mom of two boys, trying to get it right the first time. By day, helping companies tell their stories through words, media and events. By night, navigating the world of Lego, Minecraft and Harry Potter.