Lamentation for a tooth

March 4, 2009 at 4:35 am (Uncategorized)

My baby, my first baby, lost a tooth today.  She was so excited!  She started bouncing once the tooth fell out and didn’t stop until she was tucked into bed.  The tooth fairy (me) tiptoed into her room and swapped the tooth (so tiny! so weirdly beautiful!) for a buck.  And now what do I do with that tooth?  Pitch it, said my mom.  Are you going to keep all of all three of the kids’ baby teeth?  Hang on to it for as long as you want, said my husband.  You don’t want to let her childhood go. 

Well, no, I don’t want to.  I’m so delighted for my daughter.  She’d been wiggling that tooth for a month, determined to catch up to her peers that have already lost teeth.  But this news hits me hard today.  Here’s why.

The principal of the parochial school my daughter attends sent home a letter yesterday informing us of the death of a 2008 grad.  A newspaper article this morning indicated that this lovely fifteen-year-old had been addicted to drugs for the past two years.  That’s right, this poor girl developed a drug problem while living in my affluent suburb, attending my kids’ Catholic school.  My heart is broken, just broken for that family…and so frightened for my own.

It feels like my children are rushing headlong into the future…as they are! as they should be!  But don’t blame me for holding on to this blissful, innocent, delightful, delirious time.  I tucked the tooth into a ziploc bag and hid it in the back of a rarely used drawer.  And you know what?  There’s plenty of room in there for more.


1 Comment

  1. batsinthebelfry said,

    I have to add that this morning the baby pointed to the hole in Riley’s mouth and said, “uh-oh!”

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