I don't remember losing my teeth, but it seems like it must have been a traumatic experience. The thought of a dangling nerve or a bloody hole makes me shiver all over. The thought of pulling a tooth makes me fall a little bit apart. Could I have actually accomplished such a thing?
Mia's baby tooth has been loose for months. A little bit of a wiggle at first, then a succession of greater mobility leading up to the big day. I guess that's how these things go, taking so long, but I don't know; I'm new to the falling-out teeth gig. She's over seven years old and it's a first for us. For her. The worrisome bit was the jagged permanent tooth growing in behind the wiggler. A party crasher, too early for the festivities. All crooked and sideways in its approach. Did it mean the baby tooth would have to be pulled? By an adult? A dentist? *shudder* Maybe the pressure of an upward-bound adult tooth was needed to oust the baby.
I kept myself awake over these things.
Maybe it's true what they say about first children: the world revolves around them. (Wait. Is that what they say? I never paid too much attention to all of that birth order stuff.) After all, if a parent thinks and reacts and spends so much energy imagining every step of that child's life...
Well, anyway, I worried.
Then she just pulled it out. A twist and a grimace and out came the baby tooth, bouncing across the carpet, smaller than I remembered it being when it was still attached to her gums. A baby tooth, missing its baby mouth.
I thought I might cry. But if she was crowing and spouting her pulled-tooth story to everyone who'd listen, I couldn't justify the tears. Sure, she's not a baby anymore. I've known that for a long time. The hard, calcified evidence, lay before me in her fingertips, presented like a trophy.
Engraved on its enameled surface, smaller than my eyes can make out, was probably something along the lines of
Here lies the past. Lets see what happens next.
Or maybe it was something more juvenile.
Baby teeth are for babies.
Whatever the inscription, you just can't cry over such truth. So I laughed instead.