Saturday evening the youngest of my three children - the last of my babies - excitedly told me that he thought his bottom tooth was loose. This occurred at 11:00 P.M. when I had finally managed to get him to bed. He has unlimited energy and is simply hard wired to be a late night individual. Add this to the fact his eleven year old sister had a friend spending the weekend with our family. There was just too much going on for him to miss anything. I figured that this "loose tooth" was another ruse to avoid the necessity for sleep. I never imagined that this end of the day conversation would result in tears on my part and a very excited six-year-old.
I anticipated that Sebastien would continue to wiggle his tooth, even if it was firmly intact, until I attended to his concerns. He explained that he didn't want to swallow the tooth in his sleep. Two seconds after I reassured him that this would not happen, I went ahead and escorted him to the bathroom to examine the said "loose tooth." Imagine my surprise when I found that the tooth was more ready to come out than I was willing or ready to admit.
Sebastien looked at me expectantly and waited for my assessment. I looked back at him with wide eyes and informed him that it looked like his tooth may indeed be ready to jump ship and abandon his gums for the comfort beneath his pillow. I may have been able to hold it together had it not been for the look of pure excitement on his face. His anticipation of the milestone that was to transpire drew a huge smile on his face and made his eyes sparkle. He literally jumped up and down until I invited him to hold still so I could help get that tooth out. I gently wrapped the tooth with a washcloth and encouraged him to wiggle it a little. It was just too much for him to wait and he finally asked me to take it out for him.
It didn't take much effort before I pulled my hand back and looked at the wash cloth to reveal a perfectly white little pearl. It was beautiful. Sebastien looked in the mirror and was too happy to be concerned about the blood that had pooled where the baby tooth had resided. I showed him how to rinse his mouth with water and then found a gauze pad to hold in his mouth until the bleeding stopped. The happy drama drew my daughter and her friend to the open door outside the bathroom. Sebastien gleefully announced his successful extricated "First Loose Tooth" and the girls rewarded his news with their own excited oohs and awws. (They took a few pictures to document the moment.) Then they smiled back at him and I could tell that they were happy that he had reached this momentous milestone.
I surprised myself and the girls by... crying! I explained that this was the last "First Tooth" I would ever experience since Sebastien was my last baby. It's funny how such seemingly innocuous occurrences can bring out the emotional side of parenting. After I deposited Sebastien's tooth into an envelope labeled with his name and the date, I helped him place it under his pillow with hopes that the "Tooth Fairy" would visit and leave a treasure. He had a peaceful, content expression as he floated off to dream land. He was secure with the knowledge that he had joined the "lost tooth" club of which all six year olds want to belong.
I am now a member of that parenting club known as "Last of the Firsts." I knew it was inevitable. Each time one of my children experiences a "first" I am faced with the reality that they will grow up way too fast. I am learning to treasure each milestone and moment as we continue on this journey together. These precious times help me understand that I have been given an amazing honor to be a part of their lives. These times help we when things get rough. The "Beginning of the Last of the Firsts" are bitter sweet and I love them!