My son lost his third tooth the other day. For what seems like forever (about a month), his two front teeth have been creating a more and more obtuse angle, coming forward a little more each day to buckteeth proportions. Sure, the left tooth was wiggly, but not very much so. We figured it would be a while – another week or two – before he lost one and then the other of his front teeth. He figured out how to bite and chew with the side of his mouth, so really it was just about the waiting.
And then, around 10:30 on Thursday morning I got the call from the school nurse. “No emergency,” she assured me. An emergency hadn’t even registered with me – I thought it was a call about doing regular lice checks or something else equally ignorable. Instead, I was informed that my kindergartener had lost a tooth in physical education thanks to a classmate’s wayward hand and its contact with my son’s mouth. “There was some blood,” the nurse explained. “But he’s fine now.” A pause. “We haven’t been able to find the tooth.”
Oh no! The situation suddenly became serious. The nurse assured me that my newly gap-toothed kid had accepted the explanation that the Tooth Fairy would take the glittery tooth holder presented to my son despite no tooth to save inside it. Crisis averted!
I then asked some peripherally parent-like questions revolving around my son’s well-being, if he was upset, if the tooth came out cleanly…okay, great. Thank you so much for calling. Bye now!
Until the phone was back in its cradle, it didn’t even occur to me that I could have asked to speak to the center of the tooth emergency – my son! In my attempt to seem casual and less of a helicopter parent, I had pushed the most obvious question out of my consciousness – “Can I speak to him?” #FAIL
I needn’t have worried. As he got off the bus later that day, I was not greeted by an anxious, tearful, mourning boy. Instead, my six-year-old practically bounced down the stairs with a “Guess what!” and a grin that showed off his new gap. No trauma, just basking in the fame of having lost a tooth in combat. Best of all, some keen-eyed fourth grader had found the baby tooth in the next physical education class. Sometimes the kids don’t need big people to step in – even by phone – to offer comfort. And for that, the Tooth Fairy will be eternally grateful.
Take a sip of the moonshine that yeah write has this weekend. Calorie-free and good for the soul.