Last night, the tooth fairy visited our house. Abby lost her first tooth yesterday. “Lost” is a funny word choice, because hubby actually “yanked” it out of her little mouth. He pulled the tooth expertly. I am forever grateful that he was home to do the honors. And Abby, who has been known to bawl when she almost stubs her toe, handled the tooth yanking gracefully.
As you might expect, she proudly displayed the hole in her mouth to anyone who would bother to look. She made chewing gum molds of the new hole. She pulled water into her mouth through the hole and pushed it back out again. She reveled in her new mark of maturation.
Abby was equally excited about the pending arrival of the tooth fairy. She told us that the tooth fairy would wake her up and give her $5 for her tooth.
“Fiver dollars?!?!?” I said. “No, sweetie, she won’t wake you up and she won’t bring $5. But she will bring you something special.”
“Ok, whatever, she’ll bring me something and I’m so excited!!!!”
(Whew. Because if she wasn’t, I was prepared to explain to Abby how the recession affects everyone, even the tooth fairy.)
Night fell. Abby strategically placed her tooth pillow under her big pillow in a spot she was sure the tooth fairy would have no trouble finding. After my darling big girl was soundly asleep, I donned my wings and swooshed into her room. I carefully removed the pillow. I secured the tooth. I slipped a crisp dollar in its place. Mission complete.
I returned to our bedroom with the tooth. At this point, I looked at hubby, who was intensely surfing the web, and held up the yanked tooth.
“We created this tooth.” I said to him.
He rolled his eyes at me.
“Seriously. You and I created it. It’s amazing. It’s a miracle.”
He responded with rapid typing. I guess this physicality is a mom thing—I grew the baby, therefore I grew the gums which sprouted the tooth which now sits in my hand.
The tooth fairy delivered more than just a dollar to Abby. She delivered a moment for reflection to me. I examined the tooth—this talisman of her babyhood. I thought of all the food (and skin) it did its part to bite into. I sentimentally recalled when that little white tooth first peaked through her swollen red gums. I will tell you that I caressed that tooth. Lovingly. The smooth sides and the sharp corners. I noted that Abby had done a nice job with her brushing because the tooth was shiny and clean.
The tooth fairy delivered a reminder that our first born is growing—quickly—and that we must appreciate what was. And look forward to what is coming. Today, adult teeth. Next week, driver’s license. At that moment, I felt cheap for paying only a dollar for the spent baby tooth that sat in my hand. Maybe the tooth fairy has earned herself a raise.