543 Day Writing Journey

Gummy Smile. Day 382.

Baylee at five

Kindergartners with missing teeth are the cutest little angels, right? We cherish the old pixelated or curling photos of our children with gummy smiles, and look back at how cute they were with gaping holes where their little white pebbles once were.

What we don’t do enough of is talk about how creepy it all is. First of all, there’s blood involved, and pain, and ultimately our freaking teeth actually fall out. It’s a body part!

“Let me wipe the blood off,” I’ve said while holding a paper towel.

“No, you’re going to pull it out!” I’ve had this conversation with a bleeding, drooling, crying child many times.

At least it’s over then, right? No. A sneaky and mysterious little fairy comes next to snatch our body parts from under our pillows. She leaves money which is awesome, but it’s not like we have a say in this organ trade. (Now, I know what a fairy is and always have, but when I was little I thought she was human-size, not little. It wouldn’t have mattered either way. I was freaked out by it. Plus, when someone says fall asleep, I just can’t. Who can?)

What we are left with is a red gaping hole which we cannot leave alone, a couple bucks depending on your family’s social and economical status, and a lifetime of sleepless nights. I mean, if a fairy can come into your room to exchange body parts for money, anything is possible.

I’m all about tradition and the tales we tell our children, but some are scary. Santa Claus is watching you. Really? And don’t even get me started on the Easter Bunny. We have to wonder who we do this for. Is it the kids? Or are we self-serving parents who want a little entertainment and an easy way to sneak candy canes and Chapstick into a tattered stocking?

*Baylee was five when he had his four front teeth removed. The dentist told me I shouldn’t have let him fall asleep while nursing. Talk about trauma!

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