Rites of Passage

Do you remember your first lost tooth?  Do you remember wiggling and wiggling it, maybe before it was even loose?  Did you ever go to extreme measures, like pliers or a string tied to doorknob? 

My son’s first tooth is loose.  He’s in no hurry for it to come out, although he played with it all through the church service this morning.  He first noticed it while dining out a week ago.  He complained of a sore tooth while biting into a slice of pizza.  “Is it loose?” I asked.  He wiggled it, and sure enough, it could bend to a 45 degree angle.  At 6 1/2 years old, it had been a long time coming.   

His older sister was adorable.  She put her arm around him, and with a knowing smile, asked to see and touch the premier tooth. 

Apparently, her cousin reacted the same way when his younger sister had her first loose tooth.  She’s only 5 1/2, but lost her third tooth today.  It was barely hanging on to begin with, and again, it was a slice of pizza that did the trick. 

As my kids grow older, their experiences bring back memories of my own.  I don’t remember my first loose tooth, but I remember my last.  Maybe I counted, but I knew this was the last one.  I had pulled it out on Christmas eve when I was 9 years old.  I was wondering whether the tooth fairy or Santa Claus would pick up the tooth and leave a quarter.  (Inflation has hurt the tooth fairy as well).

I’ve celebrated so many firsts with my kids… first words, first steps, potty training, kindergarten.  Birthdays that seem to come faster every year.  They are growing, learning new skills, and thinking more critically.  They ask questions I have to think about before I can answer.  Sometimes my answer is “go look it up on the internet.”  I don’t know who invented macaroni!

I wonder what types of parents they’ll be (assuming they are) and what kind of careers they’ll end up in.  I’m sure they’ll break my heart along the way… isn’t that part of parenthood?  I just hope that in the end, they know that they are beautiful, they are loved, and they are created for a purpose.

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