Yesterday before the girls' bedtime, our nightly routine of lullabies were just wrapping up. I had just turned on the sleepy time music, and began to walk away from Grace's bed. She was tucked in, rubbing her sleepy eyes, and cuddling in for the night. Dani kitty was safely stowed in her arms, and this mama was relieved to have settled her down for sleep. I was looking forward to a planned telephone call with one of my oldest friends, Jen. It had been too long since we had spoken.
As I walked toward the door, I heard Gracie say with her fingers in her mouth, "Mommy, I 'fink my toof fell out."
Feeling rushed and a little bit annoyed because I was still looking forward to an adult conversation, I said, "What Grace? Are you sure?"
"Uh huh, Mom. Well, I mean my tooth feels weird in my mouth. Is it out?"
"Well, let's get the lights back on to check it out Gracie." I switched on her night table lamp, and she sat up in bed. My eyes had adjusted to the very low lighting, and I couldn't see it so well.
"Come on, Grace. Let's go to the bathroom and check it out in there."
Meghan excitedly sat up and whined, "I want to come too. Please Mommy. Please."
"Alright, we'll all go see what is going on."
I flipped the light switch on, and we all winced in the brightness. Grace opened her mouth, and I immediately noticed that her front, left baby tooth was laying sideways within her mouth. I laughed at it, and she frowned at me. I thought to myself, "Whoops. Keep it positive Jen."
"Grace, you can pull it out if you want now honey. It is ready to come out." She stuffed her index finger and thumb into her mouth, but came away empty handed.
Meghan gleefully didn't notice Grace was still without a tooth in hand, and shouted "Yay Gracie! The tooth fairy is comin'. The tooth fairy is comin'."
Grace shot her a knock it off kind of look, and whined, "Mommy! I can't get it. Can you pull it out for me? Please. I can't get it. It feels weird Mommy. Please."
"Alright. Alright Grace. I'll help you." I really didn't want to pull it out though. I vividly remember how it felt to yank my own baby teeth out and honestly, thinking about it makes me feel a little nauseated and well squishy inside.
Dismissing those feelings, I pulled a tissue from the tissue box, and said, "Are you ready Grace?"
"Yes Mommy. I'm ready."
"Okay, here goes."
The first tug yielded no results, and I was right. I felt squishy in response to my actions, but I didn't let on. Grace stood patiently as I attempted another time.
Success! There it was in the palm of my hand...my first born's first tooth. Tears pooled, but I suppressed them. Meghan applauded when I said, "Here it is Gracie. Careful. It is tiny. We don't want to lose it."
Gracie smiled with pride, and a new hole where the tooth used to be appeared within in her one less tooth smile. It was not bleeding, though. I was glad for that since Gracie seems to overreact to blood a bit. Whew! Meghan continued to jump up and down, and said, "I want to see it. I want to see it. Mommy, I want to see it."
Meghan immersed her face within my palm to inspect the tooth. I quickly thought I'd better find the digital camera to take some pictures, and a quick movie. I glanced toward Gracie, and there before me was a young, beautiful girl.
She was no longer my baby, but still very much my heart. How fast the time has passed. I want to capture these moments, and deposit them into my heart forever. I know that memories fade, but one thing is for sure. She will always be my baby, and her existence changed me forever. I'm so pleased to see her growing, experiencing, learning, and wanting to be more. I'll take "her" anyway I can, and hope that our future together will be fulfilling and complete with even better memories. Hopefully, I'll help to nurture her basic nature for the betterment of her life.
Enjoy her new "a tooth less" smile. I know I do. :)