Her tooth had been wobbling for ages and after four months of, “Maybe it’ll fall out today?” I was convinced it was never going to. And that was fine with me. Baby teeth mean she’s still my baby, right? But the night before last, it happened. Julia lost her first tooth.
She was so excited. She squealed and jumped and ran around showing it to anyone and everyone – human and feline alike – in our house. She was naked, of course, as her tooth had come out just as she was about to take her bath, but it didn’t matter. After all that waiting, her tooth was finally free.
When I caught her and plunked her in the tub with her sister, Lucy immediately grabbed Julia’s face and said, “Let me see!” She drew in close, squinted and declared, “Julia! Your tooth fell out!”
“One day, when you’re all grown up, you’ll lose your teeth, too,” Julia told her, her chest puffing with pride.
After the bath, I pulled out a little Tooth Fairy Kit I’d purchased from one of those crazy school fundraisers that included a tiny satin pillow with a pocket for the tooth, a collection box for the money from the Tooth Fairy and a booklet for recording the dates each baby tooth was lost. We set it up on the headboard of her bed while Lucy sat on her toddler bed gagging as she tried to pull one of her own teeth out.
I sang the girls to sleep and patted myself on the back for my preparedness. But once I lined up the Tooth Fairy visit and settled myself into my own bed and the nook of Dave’s arm, I couldn’t hold back the tears. “I remember the day she got her first tooth. She wasn’t even a year old. It was the first day of Spring,” I told him. “That was yesterday, Dave,” I added. “Tomorrow, she’ll be moving out and leaving us forever.”
“No she won’t,” he said. “We’re not letting her leave. She’s just not allowed.”
“I’m not sure that’s how it works.”
In the morning, it was revealed that the Tooth Fairy had visited. She left behind four quarters and one tiny, glittery note.
Also a gap in Julia’s smile, proof that my baby is disappearing, and my girl is growing.