Monday, February 4, 2013
So, I'm pretty sure I can't refer to my Lena as my "baby" anymore. In fact, I probably can't refer to her as a toddler anymore, either. Oh, I know she's five, and in kindergarten, and you're saying, HELLO? That ain't no toddler, lady, but when the Gap lumps your child's clothing size under "Toddler Girls," you think you have rights.
Well, no more. As of Saturday night, Lena Rose has her first loose tooth. It's a bottom front tooth - one of the first teeth to arrive when she was just four months old. And yes, I'm going to say it, so avert your eyes now: IT FEELS LIKE IT WAS JUST YESTERDAY! Yesterday, galldarnit. (Hi, Mom.) Just yesterday we cheered that thing on at the same time we cursed it for making her cranky and feverish, and I was so relieved that she would take a bottle, and heartbroken, too. And now it's about to come out, screaming at us once again that she is growing up and there is nothing we can do about it. Stupid, adorable, baby tooth.
It is possible that Lena has willed that tooth to loosen by sheer wishing. She's been asking for weeks, now, when she would lose a tooth just like her friends at school, and when she found this sucker wiggling she came BOUNDING into the living room, barely able to keep breathing she was so exskited Mommy!!!!!!!!!!!! she was bouncing off the ground and making our giant pine armoire rattle against the wall with her mere 36lbs of uncontainable joy.
I am excited for her. I am excited, and trying not to turn this into yet another existential crisis about babies and growing up and time and and and.
My girl is a fully-vested kid, now. A kid who loses teeth and plays hopscotch and wants to race you to the corner. She has training wheels on her bike and cleats for t-ball and begs to sleep in a little longer every morning. Yesterday, when we took her to dim sum with the other families from her class, she brought her Hello Kitty purse and all the little girls crowded around her to see inside, to look in her mirror compact, to share her princess glitter lip balm.
I want these years to be great for her. I want her to graduate from training wheels and learn to read chapter books and be mad at me for not allowing her to wear real lipstick out of doors. But I want her to do it all without growing out of the magic. She can believe that the moon follows her wherever she goes for forever, and I will never contradict her. She can make up all the stories she wants about the pictures she draws of princesses and rainbows and animals and us, and I will only ever agree with her. Lately she keeps asking me if fairies are really real, for real real, and I keep telling her that fairies are only real if she believes in them, and then she says of course she believes in them, because they ARE real, for real, REALLY, Mom.
And when she says that, I believe they are.
I just changed my mind. She can grow up all she wants: I am still going to call her my baby. My fairy magic moon baby. My sugarplum peachamaloo and a jaybird too baby. My Lena baby. For real, REALLY, baby.