What’s so great about losing a tooth? Is it the distinctive feel of a gap in your smile, a place through which your tongue can wriggle like a worm through pebbles? Maybe it’s the clear transition from little-kid status to kid status. There’s the unsettling feeling of a tooth wobbling in its socket followed by the interminable wait as it wiggles and rocks but never lets go and you’re too afraid to yank it out. Then, somehow, it’s just out. You have this tiny little nugget of white in your hand and a piece of you is no longer you, it’s “it”. Under the pillow it goes, nestled in billows of cotton but not hidden from the Tooth Fairy. This year, for her first ever lost tooth, the Tooth Fairy brought Child Harbat two gold coins. Something about that has a nice ring, a glass-winged angel scurrying under the pillow and leaving behind a pair of gold discs, Child Harbat’s locks twirling and twisting like telephone cords about her on the pillow as she sleeps unawares. Now the gap is a mark of honor, a battle scar to show off at school, a place to rest her tongue when its tired (seemingly never considering the amount of talking she does), and a convenient slot for a straw so she can drink even with her mouth and jaw clamped shut. Periodically she checks the mirror to see the new tooth rising up from the gums like a new volcano. Which tooth will be next? When will those front teeth finally go, giving her that clichéd and utterly adorable gap-toothed smile? I can’t wait for the next one. Neither can the Tooth Fairy.
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