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Parenting

One Step Closer

My oldest son lost his last baby tooth yesterday.

Hashtag not okay.

I mean, we all know my loathing of dangling, falling out, bloody baby teeth. I gagged when he told me the tooth felt loose. I gagged when he said he “took it out.” I gagged at the blood he spat in the sink. I gagged writing this paragraph.

But, you guys.

The Tooth Fairy left a five dollar bill in his firefighter tooth pillow.

“Five dollars? Why so much money?”
“Because it’s my last baby tooth, Mom!”

This whole growing up thing doesn’t seem to stop. He’s finished the first half of fifth grade, meaning we’re on the downward slope toward middle school. I’m not ready for any of that nonsense. I don’t even fully understand what the transition from elementary to middle school means for us or looks like yet, but I feel nervous. For him. For me. For our family.

I’m sure he’ll handle it in his own way. I’m sure we’ll figure out how to handle the earlier wake up time and homework. I’m sure I’ll move into the role of middle school mom just fine. Because what else can we do? Move forward.

He teethed early. Both boys did. And now those teeth that caused fevers and crankiness and really long, late nights are all gone. It’s weird. We spent so much time fretting over getting those tiny little things into his face, and just like that, they’re no longer a part of his being.

What if letting go of stuff that no longer serves us was as easy as losing baby teeth? /end deep thought

He’ll need braces in the future as my genetics regarding teeth stink. My apologies to my children; maybe you can blame Papau. His smile as it looks now, with molar gaps on the sides, will change at least two more times before his smile becomes what it will look like for the rest of his life. Those molars will grow in. The braces will move his teeth into place.

And then he’ll own the smile he’ll have as a teenager, a young adult, a grown man, an old man. It’s kind of weird knowing he’s one step closer to something so permanent, one of the things people will notice about him when first meeting him. And no, I’m not even ready to imagine what his voice will sound like in the next couple of years (though I imagine him sounding like my brother for some reason).

Last Baby Tooth

At least he’s now officially done wiggling teeth in my face at seven o’clock in the morning. Hashtag the small things.

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