It's like trying to find a tooth in a pile of rocks

It was exciting and sad when my oldest son lost his tooth in preschool. So I was getting anxious when my almost first grader still had not lost a tooth. Maybe he was going to have his baby teeth forever. But one day he said his tooth was loose. We went on a walk to enjoy the day before my older son came home from school and out came the tooth. I should have taken a picture right then, but wanted my better camera. I had no pockets, but offered to carry it. My son wouldn’t let me. I should have insisted, but I let him hold it. I know he is too old for a stroller, but we only have time for a quick walk after we get home and until the bus arrives so we need to move quickly. I forgot about the tooth when he asked if he could walk.

A few minutes later he screamed. The tooth had dropped out of his hands. We stopped. I swore a lot. But then I thought we will surely find it. It had blood on it. Well, it turns out you can’t find a tooth in a pie of small rocks that all look like teeth on the side of the road. I spent about five minutes, but had to mark our spot with rocks and return home to wait for my other son. Then I made them both get in the car and drive to the lost tooth spot. I soon realized my kids were making it worse by moving the rocks and I sent them back to the car.

Several people stopped to find out if I was okay as I was hunched over the side of the road or sitting in a long skirt in unflattering positions. I was sure the girl down the street was snapchatting this scene. One couple stopped and would have helped, but they were on their way to a wake. I guess that is more important. I think others thought I was really sick and puking or having a heart attack and I abandoned my kids hanging out of the car doors and windows.

I started to cry. This was the first tooth! It couldn’t be lost. I searched for forty more minutes looking at every rock in that area on the side of the road, then moving rocks, then pulling grass to see if the tiny white thing was hidden behind it. I thought about looking on Amazon to see if I could find a light that detects blood, but realized that even with two-day shipping and even if such a thing existed, the rain would wash it away before any such device would arrive. My kids were yelling at me to go home. My oldest son told me to just write a note and that the tooth fairy would come anyway. But he didn’t know the tooth fairy likes to keep her teeth hidden in my secret top drawer to remember forever.

Eventually I found a rock that looked like a tooth. It even had red on it. It might even be an animal’s tooth or another kid’s tooth. My oldest son was convinced it really was the tooth. I held it up to the space in my son’s mouth. It was not the tooth. But I took the rock and told my kids that it was. They were convinced or just bored and we went home to pose my son holding the rock and pretending it was the tooth. And they were right. The tooth fairy was fooled and my son got his money. But I’m still a little sad that my secret drawer has a rock where a tooth should be.

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