Tooth Fairy IOU

The six year old lost his first tooth today. And we’re both a little bummed.

The thing had been hanging on by a thread for several days. Last night, the hubby and I tried, in vain, to pull it for him. But our little guy was a little freaked out by the whole thing and had little patience for our amateur dentistry. When he didn’t loose it by breakfast, I packed his back pack with an envelope and instructed him to bring it home for the tooth fairy if he lost it at school.

Sure enough, he came off the bus this afternoon and announced he lost it. Followed by, “I swallowed it.”

It was an accident and from what I gathered just fell out of his gums and slid right on down his gullet without his knowledge. He’s pretty torn up about it, despite the fact that the tooth fairy would accept an explanation note under his pillow if the tooth was missing.

I tried to focus on the excitement of it all, but part of me is feeling a bit sad about it, too. This was a first for both of us. I remember the bumpy edges of that little tooth first breaking through his pink gums when he was 10 months old. I watched it grow and change his little gummy smile, watched as it was joined by others until he finally had a mouthful of little, pearly chompers that peeked through smiles and bit through new foods.

Now it’s gone. I’m not entirely sure I would have kept it after the tooth fairy picked it up, so it’s not that, but I do feel a bit of sadness that I didn’t get to hold that first tooth in my palm, marvel at its smallness and say a final goodbye to his babyhood. He’s growing and changing so fast. He’s reading and smart mouthing and doesn’t want to crawl into my lap nearly as much anymore. The fact that he’s passed another milestone only solidifies that the ride is going too fast.

But life isn’t perfect, right? Sometimes you swallow the tooth or mess up the proposal (points at self – story for another day) or burn the dinner, but it doesn’t mean you can’t still have the magic of the tooth fairy, the engagement or the impromptu takeout.

Tonight, I will still sneak into a bedroom and slip something beneath a pillow. Another first for all of us. Then, tomorrow, I’ll try to get used to his new smile with a little hole in the middle. Just another piece of his fading babyhood.

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