The wait for Joseph’s first tooth to fall out felt like an eternity. Children regularly start losing their baby-teeth at 4 or 5 years old, so Joseph has noticed that at “6 and three quarters” (his words) he still has a full set of pearly whites. By contrast, most of his first grade classmates look like vampires or NHL players.
With each day the anticipation kept building, so much so that I had considered passing the time by writing “What to Expect When You Are Expecting Your First Tooth to Fall Out”.
A few weeks ago we were swimming in my in-law’s pool in Florida. Joseph and Benjy, his 3-year-old brother, love the water, especially when they dive and generate a big splash.
In the midst of our aquatic playtime, Joseph enthusiastically emerged from the water with a wide smile. Something, however, seemed strange. He looked different. He was bleeding.
My first reaction to the blood was alarm. Did he hurt himself doing the cannonball? Then I noticed that the blood flowed from his mouth, and that there was a gaping hole in his beautiful smile.
“Joseph, you lost your first tooth!”
Despite the blood, Toothless Joe was overjoyed. Hallelujah! Julie and I rushed over to give him a big hug. I had just started to imagine fulfilling our Tooth Fairy duties, when it occurred to me that something was missing.
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