For the first time in years, MrMan has an odd number of teeth, much to his delight. We probably weren’t even halfway through the school year when he started obsessing. “When will I have a loose tooth?…When am I going to lose my first tooth?” Classmate after classmate was showing up with tenously attached teeth, or gaps in their smiles. But not MrMan.
A few months ago, he started insisting he had a loose tooth. He might have actually believed it – thinking that the sensation of his fingertip’s movement was actually his tooth moving. But we’d check and find it firmly in place. I took the easy way out and made the non-commital “Mhmmm,” if the subject came up.
But, finally! A couple of weeks ago, he developed an honest-to-goodness loose tooth. Yesterday, it became a lost tooth.
When we picked him up from camp, I suddenly realized he had a gap in his smile.
“You lost your tooth! Congratulations!… Where is it?”
“I don’t know…. But we can write the tooth fairy a letter.”
He seemed so casual about it. But as the conversation progressed, it became apparent that the calm child before us was the result of a heart to heart with his junior counselor. Thank goodness for them, and MrMan’s adoration. My child, usually so cautious, has no idea where or when his tooth came out. But, during the day, when it was brought to his attention that it was missing, he cried. Luckily, one of his junior counselors talked him down, telling him the same thing had happened to him when he was younger, and that maybe the tooth fairy would accept a written explanation instead of the tooth itself. How blessed I am that my child has these thoughtful teenage boys in his life – young enough to remember how he might feel, old enough to suggest a remedy.
And, so I took a letter, in which MrMan hoped that the tooth fairy might find his tooth, wherever it might be. I’ve never been at this end of the situation, but I think the letter was easier to get from under his pillow than the tooth would have been. And while it wasn’t the $100 he was hoping for, MrMan was over the moon at the dollar coin waiting under his pillow this morning.