The Last Time

As parents, we focus (rightly so) on our children’s firsts. First time sleeping through the night, first foods, firsts steps, first lost tooth, and on and on. The lasts, however, seem to get lost in the busyness of life.

For example, the last night in the crib. Sure, we get all excited about the first night in the big girl bed, but what about the night before, when the same child, only a day younger, sleeps in the crib for the last time?

How about when it’s the last time *any* child will sleep in the crib that *every* child in the family has slept as a newborn up through at least the early toddler years? When it’s the last night in seven years that a crib will be set up in the home?

In some cases, it seems like the last time deserves to be noted, mentioned, and savored for a bit, especially when the moment is so bittersweet.

The First Missing Tooth

I can honestly say tonight was one of the most startling moments I’ve had as a parent.

Right after dinner, Bunny (Bunny?!?) mentioned to me that her tooth felt “sharp.” After checking into it, I discovered that her tooth wasn’t sharp, it was that the whole side of it was exposed, as the tooth next to it had fallen out.

As far as I know, she didn’t know it was loose or anything. She never mentioned it, and asking her about it after the fact, she denies any knowledge of an imminent tooth loss.

I’m still shocked…I figured Turkey, as the oldest, would be the first to lose a tooth, and *he* hasn’t had any wiggling yet. Turkey himself was a little surprised, because he also thought he’d be the first to lose a tooth. He did take it better than I expected, though–I thought he’d be pretty mad that as the big brother, he didn’t have the honor of being the first tooth-loss in the house. But the five-year-old now has a gap in her smile.

She seems to have lost it *while* eating–there’s no sign of the tooth anywhere. Bizarre. It’s a night I won’t soon forget–I don’t know which one of us was more shocked. And I’m afraid my shock rubbed off on her, because she didn’t want to talk about it, and even started crying (no, I wasn’t *that* upset, not in front of her, anyway). She seems to have recovered OK, and has admired her new toothlessness in the mirror several times.

The part I was really unprepared for was seeing her more grown-up, toothless grin. I had to leave the room and have a quick cry, because I wasn’t ready to see her smile like that. Bunny has always looked older to me, and I have a hard time remembering she’s five–she really doesn’t look like most five-year-olds–but this was something else altogether.

They grow up too fast.