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Today, you lost your first tooth.

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Today, you lost your first tooth.

You bit into a piece of pineapple and we knew it was time.

For weeks, you wiggled it and wiggled it, and you asked repeatedly what would happen if you accidentally swallowed it.
I knew it was coming.
I knew it was going to come out eventually.
But, it turns out, I wasn’t quite ready to see that big, toothless grin just yet.

Losing that first tooth is a right of passage.
It’s one of many “firsts” that seem to all jumble together during these early years of adolescence. It’s just a tooth. You’ll grow another one.
You’ll lose the rest eventually, too.
Right?

Today, you lost your first tooth,
but I lost a tiny piece of my heart.
How did we get here?
How did I manage to blink only to find a little boy where my baby used to be?
That tooth represents so much more than a much anticipated visit from the tooth fairy.
It’s the first time you called me mom instead of mommy.
It’s your hand pulling away from mine when you see your friends on the playground.
It’s crossing the aisle at Target- you know, the one that separates the toddler section from the boys section.
It’s booster car seats,
showers instead of baths,
and picking yourself up when you fall down.
It’s you reading me books instead of me reading them to you.
It’s watching you ride away on your bike, training wheels off and collecting dust in the garage.

Today, you lost your first tooth, and although I had to swallow down the tears threatening to spill over the rim of my eyes,
I clapped.
I cheered.
I helped you nestle that tooth into the soft cushion of the pillow I ordered off Amazon just for this occasion.
I held onto you just a few minutes longer as you gave me the biggest hug, and looked down at that goofy, newly toothless grin.
I may not have been ready.
I may have a tooth-sized void left in my heart,
but I know it will be filled.
This right of passage is just one of many to come, and I will do my best to embrace each one. I know that every time I feel like I’m losing a piece of my baby, a new piece will grow in it’s place.
Just like a tooth.
A piece that loves a little boy, and eventually a teenager,
and then a man.

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