Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Little Tooth That Made Me Cry

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I gave my kids a list of chores and shut myself in my bedroom to get some work done. Not five minutes later I was interrupted (for the first time, but certainly not the last) by a screaming Mathilda.

She was distraught and inconsolable. Her tooth fell out, and even though she has seen this happen to her older siblings repeatedly, she was totally not expecting it.

Neither was I.

Mathilda is five. I am about 99% positive that the other kids lost their first teeth at age five as well, but I'm also pretty positive that they at least made it into kindergarten before they reached that milestone.

This is my last summer of pretending Mathilda is still my baby before she heads off to big kid school in the fall. Somehow I thought things like this would not happen until we reached that stage. When I saw her in my doorway screaming and holding her little tooth, I thought to myself, "she is too young for this!"

But of course, she's not. I'm just not ready.

Bethany, Connor, Lucy and I rallied together to calm Mathilda down and convince her it was awesome to lose her first tooth. We reminded her about the tooth fairy, whom we assured her would most definitely respect her wishes to leave the tooth under her pillow. I hugged her and kissed her and high-fived her, and eventually she stopped crying and understood that she didn't do something wrong to make her tooth fall out.

Finally I got the kids out of my bedroom once again so I could get back to work. And then I cried.

I couldn't help myself. I had to indulge in this awful feeling of despair for just a moment or two. I know, I know. That probably sounds a little melodramatic. But I felt like I'd been sucker-punched. Time is going by too fast, and at moments like this I feel like I'm being pushed along by gale force winds.

Stooooooooooop! But it can't. It won't. Time and tide stop for no man. The only way to slow the clock a little is to live in the moment and to resist the powerful urge to cruise through life on auto-pilot.

Sometimes we need auto-pilot. Sometimes the only thing standing between us and the loony bin is auto-pilot. But we can't allow ourselves to be allured into its comfortable numbness for too long. We have to snap-to and sometimes work pretty dang hard to find pleasure and peace in the monotonies of raising kids and all that it entails.

That little bitty pearly white tooth knocked me off kilter a little yesterday. It kind of took the breath out of me and kicked my feet out from under me. My baby girl is five. She's going to kindergarten in a matter of a few excruciatingly short weeks. She's growing up and I can't stop it.


Stephanie said...

Aww, your baby already lost a tooth. My youngest didn't lose her first baby tooth until she was 7. What did she get from the tooth fairy?

alyaia75 said...

First tooth gets $5. After that the tooth fairy is not quite as generous ;-)