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Rowan’s First Lost Tooth

Last night, the waiting was over. After wiggling around for three solid weeks, Rowan lost his first tooth.

I‘d been in a meeting in Menlo Park in February 13, being all busily corporate, when Jason IMd me with this exchange:

11:54 AM teamhudson: hello love

11:57 AM guess what?

11:58 AM me: what?

11:59 AM teamhudson: Rowan has his first loose tooth
bottom front middle right incisor

12:00 PM me: eeeeeeeeeek

12:01 PM teamhudson: uh huh

12:02 PM I think I’m right in thinking that’s also the first one that came in

12:03 PM several places say that’s likely, and he’s about the right age

12:04 PM me: I think so; he is

teamhudson: Cuz my first reaction was “Already?”

I‘ll be honest; I was trying hard not to choke up, that my little boy’s first loose tooth happened while I was not home. I freaked just a little that it meant I was somehow A Lesser Mother. And of course, because it’s me… I also immediately started researching.

There are all kinds of beautiful options for creative treatment of the Tooth Fairy gifts for girls. Pearl bracelets, charm bracelets, necklaces… all kinds of gorgeous options. For boys? Not so much. And it made me really, really sad that for girls, there is imagination and creativity, but I guess little boys are supposed to be OK with spare cash. It’s kind of the same thing you find about boys’ clothes. Sports, military themes, and commercialization are fine. It’s impossible to find a boy counterpart to the cute pink t-shirt we bought one of the nieces, that spells out in rhinestones, “Fairies Rock”. How about “Elves Rule”, huh?

So, determined to do better, I flung a quick request northwards, and within days, Rowan’s Auntie Ria had made a gorgeous glossy red beaded pouch (Rowan’s favorite color), and Nana and Grandpa Al had found a Sac Dollar and a small charm with gold dust to put in it. I was set… materially… to respond to the eventual loss of the tooth.

Except that then there’s the philosophical question. Do you tell them about the Tooth Fairy, or not? I know people who consider that sort of thing to be a form of institutionalized lying. We haven’t gone too overboard with Santa or the Easter Bunny; I think Rowan already is fairly sure those are just made-up characters. So this was my chance, if I took it, to put the magic back in, and give him something else to believe in. I quizzed Jennie, my hairstylist, about what she’d done. Her sons are slightly older than mine, and she admitted that it had been as much of a question of hers as it currently was of mine; what’s the right thing to do? Give em reality straight-up, or keep the magic going? She polled her clients, when it had been her son’s turn, and discovered that the majority of grown adults wished their parents had held the magic for them for just a little longer.

Naturally, it wasn’t even a question for Jason. He held out for magic. So yesterday evening, when Rowan came yelling “Mama! Mama! It’s out!”, I had my plan of action. I pulled out the pouch (which he instantly adored), told him it was for holding his tooth, we put his tooth in there (after showing it proudly to Kestrel, to Papa, and to Uncle Marc), and then when he went to bed, we hung it from a ribbon on the ceiling, so that the Tooth Fairy could come take the tooth and replace it with treasure.

After he fell asleep, but before I did (and there’s a tight time window there), I tipped up the pouch, got the tooth, and placed the treasures inside. And teared up, just a little. It’s hard to put into words, the confluence of emotions, at that point. I remember being the kid wondering what the Tooth Fairy would bring. I was the Mama, in charge of making that dream happen. I remember being the kid, totally unable to keep my tongue from testing that weird spot in my teeth where something wasn’t any more. I am the Mama,

trying to capture that in a picture.

This morning, he woke up early, and I could hear him checking out what the Tooth Fairy had left. He rocketed upstairs to share his “loot” with me, and ask me why the Tooth Fairy doesn’t let itself be seen, and why it had left what it did, and and and…

Mission accomplished. The magic is there. And he’s looking forward to the loss of the next tooth, to see what the Tooth Fairy comes up with this time. And so am I.

6 Responses to “Rowan’s First Lost Tooth”

  • ...:

    I lost my first tooth in the US, and took it to Italy in a necklace around my neck. I dropped it over the side of the boat with a wish at http://www.capri.com/en/grotta-azzurra.

  • Margaret in Oz:

    Oh wow… :-)

    I was just thinking about posting my own “first lost tooth” story but hadn’t got around to it yet! Our elder son just lost his first tooth – same one as Rowan, actually (on Feb 29, how’s that for a date to remember!) – but he’s 7!!! It’s been a long time coming. He’s been playing with it for weeks now – even wanted to try eating apples (which he doesn’t particularly like) to hurry it up. I wish I knew the exact date he first mentioned the wigglyness. So I must be a bad mama if I can’t remember that ;-) I *do* know that his first tooth lost was actually his second to come in.

    We didn’t do anything quite as magical as you guys, I’m afraid. But I loved reading your story. Thanks for sharing.

    DS had already met other kids who told their stories of tooth fairy money (and how much they got) and had decided to donate the proceeds to his school’s Lenten charity collection.

  • Suzy Ahn:

    Aww, I got a little teary-eyed at this! *sigh*

  • FR:

    Hm, another thing I didn’t realize I had to stress about. They don’t have tooth fairies in Germany (yet, until Hallmark discovers the $ opportunity). As a kid, I simply collected my teeth in a little box (a self-decorated matchbox, I think), no adult/fairy intervention. FWIW, I still found that exciting.
    But now, raising 2 multi-culti kids of my own, one approaching loose-tooth age, guess I need to figure out what to do. Very creative idea you had, and nice implementation! As always, inspiring. Also interesting to read Jennie’s thoughts & poll (hi Jennie!).
    One more data point: a boy in my daughter’s Kindergarten class has a tiny white tooth-shaped plastic box that he carries on a string around his neck (like a necklace) whenever he has a very loose tooth. Once it comes out, into the minibox it goes.

  • V:

    A milestone, a little bitty life passage… those little containers that 35mm film comes in? I have a whole bunch with names on the lids and tiny teeth rattling around inside. Our tooth fairy takes a LONG time to come get the teeth. Sometimes the kids actually get mad and leave her mean notes. She is a dreadful putz… but that seems to be part of her magic, kind of like the doofy befuddled aunt on Bewitched. Savor the day, L. With love, V

  • Nana:

    Yea Rowan congrats. I saved your Papa’s, Uncle Marc’s and Auntie Ria’s teeth . The tooth Faerie gave them back to me to save. I have them in little containers with their first tooth taped to the bottom of the lid. Laureen have them bring tooth when they come up and I will put it on a charm ring to hang with his bag.

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