Take Another Little Piece of My Heart Now Baby

18 Jul

The story about how my daughter broke my heart…

Ava lost her first tooth yesterday. Yesterday morning she woke up and said her tooth was really “wobbly.” I checked…sure enough it was. I thought I had time. I thought it wouldn’t come out for a few days at least. It wasn’t that wobbly. Mike took her to swim lessons and she told him that her tooth felt really weird and that she kept trying to push it back in but it wasn’t working. Sitting on the bench, waiting to get in the pool Mike hears her say, “OH! My tooth just came out!” She hands it to him. I get this goofy, toothless picture at work and all I can think is, “My baby girl is growing up!”

I posted this picture on Facebook and immediately realize I am not prepared for the tooth fairy to visit. Apparently the tooth fairy of 2012 brings fairy dust and gold coins? I did not know this. So after the wee one goes to bed, the rumor is that the tooth fairy was hard at work trying to do more than just slip a $5 bill under Ava’s pillow. I think the tooth fairy did a fairly decent job with the limited supplies she had.

It’s a milestone losing your first tooth. I remember losing mine. I remember being so excited for the tooth fairy to come. As a parent of a child who loses their first tooth, it’s also a milestone. She lost her baby tooth…her baby tooth! She lost the tooth that kept me up at night when she was a baby. It’s these little markers of babyhood that keep falling away and reminding me that my baby girl isn’t as much baby as she is girl now.

And then there was this morning. She woke up excited to see what the tooth fairy left. We read the note and she decided she would use the money to buy herself a toy. We got ready for school. Usually when I drop her off in the morning, I walk her all the way to the classroom and give her a hug and a kiss. She hugs for a long time…she’s not a big fan of drop-off. She doesn’t like me to leave her. Until this morning.

We walked through the gate and another one of her classmates was walking in at the same time. I went to the office to sign her in and she kept walking. I stopped and said, “Ava, aren’t you going to wait for me?” She said, “No mom. I’m going to walk with my friend.” Watching her walk away I said, “Well, aren’t you going to say goodbye?” And she glanced over her right shoulder and nonchalantly said, “Bye mom!” And she kept on walking.

I stood there staring at her back. Making sure she wasn’t going to turn back around. Making sure she wasn’t going to run back for a hug. Making sure she was okay. I worried she would realize in 2o minutes that we didn’t say goodbye…at least not in our traditional way. I walked into the office a little teary-eyed with the other child’s mom and she said, “And so it begins…”And my heart was torn. On the one hand I was so proud of her independence, and on the other I thought, “There goes my baby.” Two big milestones in a 24 hour period…my heart can only take so much.

And I do feel like this is how it happens with Ava. With each milestone she reaches, she gains more confidence in being a big kid and she lets go of me a little more. And I know that this is the way it’s supposed to be. I know that my parents watched me grow and gain independence until one day I was 32 with a daughter of my own. They gave me the freedom to grow and let me know that it was okay to let go a little at a time. But how they dealt with it, well, I’m still trying to figure that one out because my heart hurts a little today.

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6 Responses to “Take Another Little Piece of My Heart Now Baby”

  1. Mama Barb July 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Awww, I’m wiping the tears away. The only thing I can tell you is she will grow and go thru all sorts of stuff, but she still needs her mommy. And I am so happy all of my daughters being in thier 30’s still need me! Love you!

    • Janice July 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      Love you too Mama Barb! We always need our moms!!!

  2. Sharyn Yuloff July 19, 2012 at 5:11 am #

    Oh, honey, stop making me cry!
    xoxo

  3. My little world September 4, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    This story brought tears to my eyes. I have my oldest son who’s going to be six next month who’s waiting for his first tooth to fall off. It’s sad because they grow up so fast!

    • Janice September 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      I know! Sometimes I can’t figure out how it goes by in the blink of an eye!

  4. vejune baltrusaitis January 2, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    i’m fiercely independent, always have been. in fact, many of my mom’s friends have told me that their strongest memory of me as a little kid was how much i wanted to do things on my own way before it was “normal.” so naturally, this is how i want to raise my new, baby daughter. i want her to be independent and self-reliant. well, wouldn’t you know, the first time my 3 1/2 month old put herself to sleep a couple weeks ago (and now does it quite often), i walked out of the room with my heart slightly hurt, questioning, “what do you mean she doesn’t need me to help her fall asleep? what is this independence she just demonstrated?” funny how life works, right? and i agree with the previous comment. we’ll always need our mom.

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