Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Trees and Apples

Once again, I realized that the apples in my family don't fall far from the tree ...

Many, many years ago, like maybe around 30, our oldest child Sam was five years old. He had a loose tooth, his first, and since it was his first tooth to lose, none of us were really sure of how to get it to come out. As parents, we didn't want to hurt his precious little first-child mouth by pulling too hard or traumatizing him (or us). So we were just letting it get looser and looser until hopefully it would just fall out. One night he was playing with his little sisters, crawling around chasing them (they were toddlers). He had a shoestring in his mouth, and as it happened, he pulled on the shoestring with his knee, and out popped his tooth. It went flying into the air - and promptly disappeared. We had lovely deep shag carpeting at the time (it came with the house we could barely afford much less replace the carpeting) and we never found it. And believe me, as first time parents, we looked for it (possibly because we were afraid we would get parent points marked off at the next doctor's visit, or that we would be listed as horrible parents in his permanent record).

Anyhow, fast forward 30 years (and looking back, those 30 years have certainly flown past). Lindley is five and has two very loose bottom front teeth. Today I picked up her and Everley at school. As has been my habit lately, I've asked to look at Lindley's loose teeth and touch them with my pinkie finger (so that she would be assured I was not trying to pull them - still not trying to traumatize anyone as a LaLa now). When I peeked at her teeth, I could see one was barely hanging on for dear life. I decided that maybe once we got home, I would ask to see if I could "hold" it and hope that it fell out between my two fingers.

As is required when I pick them up, I had snacks for Lindley and Everley (I made the mistake of picking them up one day sans snacks, and it was not a very pretty sight). Today I had premium snacks - chocolate chip muffins (no they were not homemade - mini muffins in a pre-packaged pack) and Capri Suns. They were happy and munched and drank all the way to my house (which is better than arguing about things).

Once we got home, they decided to go upstairs where all the toys are and change clothes (each has a dresser with clothes in it). They played for awhile, and then came down for drinks and maybe more snacks. I decided this would be a good time for the "let me feel your tooth" experiment. I called Lindley over and asked if I could feel her tooth. She said, "Sure," and opened her mouth. I got ready to feel the tooth, except that there was no tooth to feel!!  It had disappeared!! I asked if she had felt it coming out, or had spit it out, or even knew that it was gone. She was as surprised as I was. And a little distraught - not that it had come out, but that we did not know where it was!! We looked inside the house, outside the house, and inside the car, to no avail. The tooth had come out and was gone. I suspect it went the same way as the chocolate chips in the muffins, but we didn't mention the fact that she probably swallowed it.

Of course Lindley was a little upset at the thought of having no tooth to offer the tooth fairy. So she wrote a letter to the tooth fairy explaining that her tooth was MIA. And it helped that her daddy's first tooth had met the same fate. We texted the news and photos to Lynnette and Sam, who were as surprised as we were, and they assured Lindley that the tooth fairy was used to circumstances like this, and would still be able to complete her tooth fairy duties, even sans tooth.

So I guess, in the end, just as apples don't fall far from the tree, maybe it good when teeth fall out in similar ways. It makes things okay and establishes that sense of family and memories. Maybe those magical teeth even meet up in tooth heaven!!

Today is a gift because: picking up Lindley and Everley from school; chatting with Ms Lui at school; Steve's burgers on the grill

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