Last summer my then five year old was thrilled to learn from her dentist that one of front teeth was slightly loose. She bounced out of the dentist’s chair exclaiming, “I have a wiggly tooth!” As she skipped to the car her eyes danced at the thought of losing a tooth. She proceeded to list all the children she knew that had lost a tooth. Her admiration for these peers could be heard in her voice. Her name was finally going to be on this list.
Weeks turned into months and months turned into a year and her tooth never fell out. Even once in a while she would have me test the wiggliness of the tooth. To her delight the determined tooth was getting looser, but it held on. She continued to wait until the day she would hold her tooth in her hand.
That day did come. We were visiting family in New Hampshire, and while playing with her cousins she fell off a chair. In an attempt to get up quickly she bumped her mouth on the leg of the chair. She held her hand to her lips and when she opened them her tooth fell in her palm. A celebration soon ensued. Then later that day in the heat of a water balloon fight she came running over to show me another tooth dangling from her gum. It too came out moments later. Two teeth in one day. My family and I thought it must be a record. My daughter felt very accomplished.
When we got home a few days later she lost two more teeth. That made four teeth in a week. My daughter was thrilled, but as her mom I felt a bit of nostalgia of watching those teeth come in when she was a baby. I was watching Willow’s gappy smile and my nine year old son must have felt that I was time traveling. He looks at me and said, “Willow has summer teeth.” I gave him an inquisitive look. He sighed and replied, “You know, some are there and some are not.” Summer teeth.” I turned to look over at Willow’s smile again. I could not have said it better myself.