Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Growing Pains: Teeth

Last Friday at snack time we made a discovery, a loose tooth. One’s natural response is sheer fear and sobbing, gut wrenching weeping and grief. This child was so sad at the discovery of a loose tooth that nothing would calm. After a few moments and some troubleshooting, the root of all the emotion was discovered, it was fear.

Actual quote uttered through sobs, “it is super super super super super wiggly.” Followed by a series of irrational fear based questions.
“Is it going to fall out?”
“I can’t eat, I will eat it?”
“Will it fall back?”
“Will it come back?”
“What happens when it falls out?”
“Will it hurt?”
“Why does it have to come out?”

Being five has some really hard realities, the unknown can be scary. As grown ups we tend to shy away from things that we haven’t experienced before, we have learned that there is fear in the questions. We get so worried about what is to come that we forget to enjoy things like snack time worried that we will eat our tooth. Fear can stop us in our tracks, when the questions are many we tend to slow down.

A few convincing pep talks later the crying stopped. We learned the beauty of losing teeth, we say goodbye to our tooth but hello to money. We go to sleep with our baby tooth nicely tucked into our special tooth box and something magical happens as we sleep, awaking the next morning to discover our tooth is gone and replaced with a shiny coin. Once we calmed down and realized the magic of losing teeth, the smile returned the truth came out, “Mommy, I am afraid to lose my tooth.”

Our aversions to the unknown are often based in a simple fear, powerful enough to stop us from experiencing what is on the other side. Losing teeth is part of growing up, we have all experienced it. We must let go of the old tooth so the new tooth can have life.

If the old teeth never came out then we would never get our big strong teeth. The process takes some time and can be kind of annoying and even a little painful at times. There is also a level of trust that even though we can’t see the new tooth, we must trust it is there and it will come.

Letting go is hard, it takes embracing the unknown, trusting that good will come. We have to let go of the things we have, the things we find our security in and the things that hinder growth. We must embrace the new, unknown trusting that they will help us achieve new stages of growth. What are the things that are your baby teeth, those things you aren’t quite ready to let go of?

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