Laura had a secret when I picked her up at school. She showed me a small, orange chest and asked me to guess what was inside. I guessed a ring. No, not a ring. She opened the chest and showed me the contents. In the dim light of the car, I guessed a super miniature cat. No, not a cat.
It was a baby tooth, and she had lost it during class. She wiggled it out during afternoon language arts, earning a visit to the nurse’s office and a Tooth Saver to store her treasure. Losing a tooth at school increases street cred with Kindergartners and Graders. It is the stuff that causes Fancy Nancy fans to swoon (a fancy word for faint). This makes up for her first baby tooth that Jung pulled out in November when we lost patience with the princess tooth that hung by a thread and would not fall.
Today is bittersweet. Jung attended the wake for one of the children who was gunned down in Newtown. His co-worker, the child’s mother, received a call at work from her husband that he had their daughter but couldn’t find their son. They waited at the firehouse until midnight when positive identification was made and their permanent loss confirmed. They will not be able to share any more silly, satisfying milestones with their child like lost tooth pride. A Friday that started as ordinary brought a Monday with a casket instead of a living boy, leaving a gap that cannot be filled.