Monday, June 24, 2013

Hanging On

Toothy treasure
This morning I made a very significant transaction at the bank. I withdrew 10 one-dollar coins. That should hold us for a while. 
Because as I understand it, a dollar coin is the going rate for lost teeth.  This tooth fairy's got the goods.

But this mama isn’t ready for any of it.

A lot has changed in the last month.  Amelia graduated from preschool. She started “big kid camp,” which she loves. She rocked her ballet recital. She can carry the dog without (my) fear of (him) falling. And just yesterday she announced that she'll be taking showers instead of baths, and she will not be needing my help. 

There were a few tears at the graduation, but otherwise I think I kept it in perspective. Proud mommy, a million photos, visiting grandparents, celebratory lunches and hovering outside the bathroom door notwithstanding.

The next milestone is one I don’t know how I will handle. It’s that damn tooth, just barely hanging on, wagging around and taunting me every time Amelia opens her mouth. She’s so proud of it, so excited. She’s expecting that when it falls out, she’ll be able to do all kinds of tricks, like stick a straw through the space and drink milk with her mouth closed. Look out, she might sell tickets at camp.
I’m expecting that when that tooth falls out, a big one will replace it. An adult tooth. My baby’s whole face will change. She’ll have a big kid smile. She’ll chew her wedding cake with this incoming tooth. It will still be with her when she’s an old woman. She didn’t even grow her first tooth – coincidentally, the one about to leap - until she was more than a year old, so they’re still white and so cute and barely used. All they’ve ever chewed is pasta and cheese, let’s keep them a little longer!

I know it’s crazy, she’s growing and she’s excited and she should be and I’m proud of her. So I’m going through the motions. I made a tooth fairy pillow with a little pocket, so the tooth fairy can retrieve it, conveniently hanging on her bedpost, without waking the slumbering (ha!) Amelia. I smile when she wiggles it. I make up stories about the tooth fairy and her house full of teeth. I tell her about losing my own teeth. And today I went to the bank. The tooth fairy appears ready.

But I’m hanging on more tightly than the tooth.

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