My baby lost his first tooth. It was the first tooth he got as a 3 and a 1/2 month old. It is the first tooth for him to lose, at 5 and 3/4ths years. That tooth was a surprise. We were camping and I looked down in that little mouth finding, much to my surprise, a pearly white sliver in his little mouth. I was shocked. I mean, he'd had no signs of teething and he was so young. Yet there it was. My tiny baby, was growing up. Getting teeth. Shortly thereafter he got another, and soon 2 more. He looked so different. The gummy grin was gone. It changed his looks so much. It changed the way I thought about him. He went from newborn baby, to baby-baby. The first of many changes.
This tooth, it's been wiggling for a couple of weeks. He's said it felt funny. Then, tonight, once I showed him the tooth fairy pillow his Gram got him several years ago - it has Superman on it - he went straight to the bathroom and started working on it. He managed to finagle it out of his mouth almost all on his own with only a little assistance from his Poppa. I walked into the bathroom and he was grinning, with red-tinged spit trailing down his chin, holding that tooth in his hand. Immensely proud of himself.
I never imagined that my baby losing a tooth would be such a big milestone. That it would be such an emotional milestone for his momma. He looks different already. So very different. And I think he is different. Even more so than Kindergarten, losing teeth is apparently such a passageway from little to big kid-ness. At least for this momma.
As I kissed him good night, he asked, "Momma, are you sad?". I told him I was, but it was happy-sad. He smiled and kissed my cheek. He whispered, "I know. Love you, Momma" and laid down. I warned him not to touch that pillow or the tooth fairy wouldn't come. He laid so still, hardly breathing. Still, I'm pretty sure I'll go in there to exchange tooth for money and the tooth will be missing due to him having played with it. Because even if he's growing up, he's still my little boy. And even something a momentous as losing his first tooth, won't change the essence of who he is.
He will always be my little boy. Even without those original, tiny teeth.
Today's lesson: Sometimes the important moments are small and unexpected. They sneak up on you in a wonderful way. They change not the way things are, but the way you see them.