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Missing Tooth by Norman Rockwell. Size 20.38 X 22.00

March 1, 2010 was a very important day in our household.

Maya lost her first tooth. Thank God. I feared our collective sanity was perilously at stake had she not moved that first tooth by her 7th birthday.

Thankfully, all is well and the tension is gone. I am profoundly grateful the powers that be have allowed her to lose a tooth, any tooth, before her birthday. Yesterday we all sighed in relief when she triumphantly exhibited the tooth, and thereby confirmed her “big-girl” status in our family’s pecking order.

This turning of age event is preciously important to her. It arrived after months of private but repeated assurances that she too, would lose her teeth like her sister. In fact, this matter has plagued her since her 6th birthday.  She fell asleep last night wearing the kind of self-satisfied grin that makes a parent’s heart swell with pride.  

Alas, I am tickled and charmed by my daughter’s toothless grin.

But, I am no fool. I know another deadline looms in the near distance. I hope her adult teeth grow in quickly. Soon her casual questioning will become an overbearing cross-examination on adult teeth growth, and I fear I will cave under the glare of her persistent examination. Over and over again she will fruitlessly force us to examine her gums, until we can only turn off the light, shrug and ask her to be patient.

I can say this with authority because she has twice asked for an eta on the missing tooth, and the loose tooth beside it. 24 hours have yet to pass. I know what’s coming. 

But, for the moment, let us all enjoy this well deserved reprieve. We certainly waited long enough.

March 2, 2010

Norman Rockwell’s “Missing Tooth,” 1957