You have been waiting for your first tooth to fall out for months. At school your class had become a pack of vampires and you were anxious for your turn. Then one day I noticed teeth coming up behind your bottom baby ones which your dentist said is referred to as "shark teeth". It seems you were literally turning into your favorite creature! The newspaper headline would read: "Shark Fanatic Becomes His Obsession!" Although your two baby teeth were a little loose, the dentist wasn't sure how long it would take for them to fall out on their own. Since it wasn't a good idea to delay on this, she offered us two options:
1. Go home and eat apples and bagels to loosen them more and come back in a week if they don't fall out.
2. Pull them out today!
Thinking about having to make another trip to the dentist in a week, I looked at you lying there in the dentist's chair and said, "Whaddaya say we just take them out today Cash? Let's just do it and get it over with." Without any hesitation you shook your head yes, and in that moment I saw the dentist's look of surprise as my warrior boy fearlessly said, "Let's do it now."
Since you were a baby you have been shockingly brave. Not a single immunization shot ever brought you to tears and your pediatrician still claims to have never met a patient like you. "A total dream" she says. When you needed a filling last year, the sight of a giant needle going in your mouth didn't rattle you a bit. So when the dentist pulled me aside to talk about what was about to take place, I knew all I had to do was go over it with you honestly and directly. As long as I kept it real with you, you'd be totally cool. Oddly, I felt the need to assure the dentist you'd be fine more than the need to assure you. Then it was back to the waiting room with Grey.
I knew you wouldn't need me to stay with you. I didn't even ask because I'm familiar with the depth of your courage, never wanting to undermine it with "Do you need me to stay with you?" It's one of the things I love so much about you. Your courage comes from deep within and as your mother, this is my ultimate wish -- for you to be brave, capable and fiercely independent.
It wasn't 15 minutes before the dentist came to say she was finished, appearing in a state of shock that she just numbed a six year-old with a giant needle and pulled two teeth from his mouth without so much as a peep. I was bursting with pride inside. Way to go Cash!
When I squeeze you tight I always say, "You know I love you right? You know that right? (more squeezes) You are my sweetheart."
I think about whether I tell you this enough. And then it will be morning again and time for our ritual good-bye on the school steps. It's always the same: You give me a kiss, followed up with two BIG hugs. Then when you get to the top of the steps you blow me a kiss and finally as I'm walking away you call out "Mommy!!" to show me the heart you made with your hands. You don't care who is watching and you never have. My only hope is you never will.
You are such a beautiful young boy Cash. You wear your heart on your sleeve and yet carry the bravery of a thousand soldiers within.
Your new smile is dazzling and so bravely earned. How funny that you couldn't wait to lose your first tooth, and in just one afternoon you lost TWO!!
I love you sweet warrior.
Always & forever, Mom