Life is the childhood of our immortality.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I dozed off last night in a carb-induced slumber after dinner. My 13-year old woke me to show me a bloody molar. This morning, I thought it was a dream until he flashed a smile. It transported me back to the first tooth he lost in kindergarten. I can see where we were sitting on the couch. We happened to have dinner guests, including a fireman. My son allowed our fireman friend to yank it out since we reasoned that he was a professional who used the jaws–of- life for a living. I clearly remember what the tooth fairy brought him that night- $10 in gold one-dollar coins and a giant balloon.
I remember the tooth he lost a year later on my wedding day. He was rough- housing with my younger brothers on the dance floor and his already loose pearly white was knocked out by someone’s elbow. Imagine the music coming to a screeching halt. Conversations abruptly went silent. Like a movie when bystanders crowd around the body at a hit-and-run accident, a circle of people surrounded my sprawled out 6-year old. Bleeding all over his suit and moaning, I picked him up in my white gown and got him cleaned up. My mother felt so bad about the drama, she gave him a $100 bill- the going rate for losing a tooth before it’s time on your mother’s wedding day.
Counting this latest tooth, he only has two originals left. What happened to all his other baby teeth? I saved most of them in a little pillbox in my jewelry box. So I know where they went. But when? How exactly? It is like I dozed off again for a long, long time. It is all hazy and distant. Now, the alarm clock keeps going off. Wake up. Wake up. There are only two left.
I am sad I didn’t wake up last night to go and tuck him in. He still allows me to hold his hand when we say prayers together. The same prayer we have been repeating since he was in his crib. Will he still hold my hand after the last tooth goes? Will the prayer change? I am sad I didn’t sneak back in on my tiptoes to check on him and swap his tooth for cash. Instead, I slept.
Here is a Video that has been circulating on-line that sums up these fleeting moments like another lost tooth. It is another gentle reminder to mothers to enjoy the present, don't oversleep.
What triggers your milestone memories?