My oldest daughter lost yet another tooth today. I think that makes 10. She'd lost it at school, and the nurse gave her a tiny yellow treasure box to bring it home in. Excitedly she showed me in the car as we drove to ballet, saying...Yay the tooth fairy is going to come tonight! MmmHmm I murmured as I drove. To myself I thought...How much longer will she believe the tooth fairy is real? Isn't she getting a little old for this?
Tonight as I went in search of the tiny yellow box, not remembering for a bit where I'd put it, I thought again, When will she be too old for this? Finally I located the box, helped her tuck it under her pillow, and layed beside her for our nightly prayers. As I kissed her goodnight she said...Mom, I have a question...
And I knew.
She was about to ask.
Before she uttered another word I said... Sweetie, make sure you really want an answer before you ask.
She thought for a second and then...Yes, I really want an answer.
Then she asked.
And I immediately regretted my earlier feelings. Why did I want this to end? Why did I think she was too old? As we talked (she handled the news quite well), my heart ached as I realized the first step out of childhood had just happened for her. What comes next? Santa? Oh please no.
I realize it's a milestone that had to happen, maybe needed to happen, but it's still tough.
Then as I walked out of her room, just a few moments ago she called out...
Mom, you know I'm just gonna forget about this, right?
And I smiled. She wants to hang on just a little longer, and that's just fine with me.