Just barely revealed, pinned there against his lower lip... baby teeth. Teeth taken for granted and overlooked while snapping this photo: a classic picture of brothers set behind my secret backdrop of a water tower. That's where my focus was recently- how to turn this giant blue tower, at the corner of K-mart and the electric company, in to a photo opportunity- not on teeny, tiny teeth in a mouth that knows the taste of Boiron's chamomilla tablets.
This too predicted the future. He had painted it only hours before the apple/tooth showdown, but I didn't see determination in it. After all, the dental issue was literally hanging by (what?!), perpendicular to his red roofed mouth for days and days. He eschewed offers of plyer pulls and head noogies. Turned down all foods firmer than an overcooked noodle.
So I was surprised when he settled down with an apple and a book on that fateful day of May 22nd 2014. And then. And then he bit into that apple and I saw the determination I had previously missed.
We celebrated with all the rites of passage. Later I poured over my photo files until I came upon that brothers classic, the most recent photo history I could find of a tooth that had been. And then I let myself cry since it was startling: the feeling surrounding a Mama when her son loses his very first tooth.
Even with all my blubbering the toothfairy came. Sweeping in on a glittery breeze and with impeccable teeny-tiny handwriting, matching the size of the precious enameled gifts she collects each night. I like to imagine she is the type of worker who does not take her job for granted. That she carefully wound the dollar tight with a ribbon for Bear she was saving for years. That she placed the pink toothbrush (the fairy's favorite color) on his pillow with the delicate deliberation of a midwife and newborn.
Teeth fall out and are renewed again- I hear it can go on until even 3rd grade. That tooth fairy need always see her job as fresh and important; a moonlit reverence to childhood. For me though, I welcome the day when his widening jack-o-lantern grin will not be quite so jarring a reminder of his growth.