Falling Out

Madelynn lost her first tooth on the last day of school in the first grade. Most of her friends lost teeth in Kindergarten, some in preschool. Maybe Madelynn’s first tooth came out so late because I have told her so often or thought so often, “Please don’t grow up. You’re my baby. I don’t want you to grow up too soon.” Maddi just replies, “Oh, mom! You always say that. It’s okay. I’m supposed to get big~!”

Never one to be good with transition, it’s always hard for me to say good bye to another life stage, these rituals of getting older like loosing baby teeth, entering the next grade in school, inviting friends over to play, sleepovers and calling friends on the phone tell me that my little girl is doing what she is supposed to be doing. She is getting big.

Maddi speaks of the experience matter of factually, not a factor of age to her, “my tooth just got wigglier!” She is much better about accepting life’s next step.

She wrote a letter to the tooth fairy this summer:

Dear Tuithe Ferie (Tooth Fairy), My Tuithe (tooth) is groing (growing) in. I wander (wonder) what tuithe (tooth) is going to fall out necst (next). And what tuithe (tooth) is going to fall out last. Love, Maddi

She put the note under her pillow without a tooth to accompany her letter.  The Tooth Fairy took the opportunity to write back and remind Madelynn to brush her teeth every morning and every night until the Tooth Fairy’s next visit. Life may be passing quickly, but the Tooth Fairy knows not to let a practical life lesson pass her by in the midst of sentimentality.

I wonder how I will feel on Madelynn’s last day of elementary school, middle school, high school, college. Part of me fears what “falls out next.” Part of me prays for what “falls out last.” All of me hopes for what falls out to be the best. Life is about phases, time, things that get wigglier, things that are growing, things that are full of love. Each transition prepares us for the next. And so I must trust, like my daughter trusts that each step happens the way it is supposed to happen.

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