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5 LESSONS THE TOOTH FAIRY TAUGHT ME!

September 4, 2010

By Leta Hamilton

I have a six year old who believes in the Tooth Fairy BIG time! We entered the world of the Tooth Fairy last week when he lost his first baby tooth. He woke up, began his daily ritual of wiggling his lose front tooth and it fell out into his hand. The excited screaming from the bedroom could be heard down the block. This was by far the most exciting thing that had ever happened to him in his six years of life and certainly the most memorable to date. He ran down stairs into the kitchen, clutching his tooth in the palm of his hand, hardly able to contain his excitement (well, not really able to contain it at all).

We admired the tooth, spent a long time discussing the details of how it fell into his hands, called daddy at work, put it in a champagne glass for safe keeping, went and found the tooth fairy pillow and took a few pictures to email to grandma. Wow, it was an exciting morning! As an adult, I was in awe of his level of elation.

At various points throughout the day, he would randomly say, “I feel completely different now that I’ve lost my first tooth.” Even though we were going through the motions of our day – playing on the swing set, going to the store, watching a movie, eating dinner, bruthing teeth – his missing tooth was obviously on his mind pretty much from the moment it fell into his hand to the moment he fell asleep that night.

We had a lot of conversations about the logistical details of the Tooth Fairy visit. The who, what, when and where of the visit were discussed at length. The why, of course, was understood. He felt the first lost tooth marked his entry into the next phase of his life, a phase called “Grown-up Tooth Boy!”

The next morning when he woke up and found his $1 in his pillow, he ran downstairs with even more excitement. (What is the going rate for the Tooth Fairy these days?) He couldn’t wait to put it in his “Disneyland Fund” piggy bank. And so began Day 2 of the first lost tooth experience.

As a mother and a writer, I could not help but reflect on what I was witnessing in his excitement. The Spirit of the Tooth Fairy, which is really just the spirit of my son’s right-of-passage, taught me some valuable lessons in those two days. I never cease to be amazed at what I can learn from my kids when I stop and absorb the innate wisdom of their antics (both good and bad, I might add).

  • Even the small achievements in our growth as human beings are worth celebration.

The lost tooth was a sign that my son was growing up. He felt this and articulated it when he said, “I feel like a completely different person now that I’ve lost my first tooth.” The Tooth Fairy reminds us that each of our steps of growth and maturity in this life are causes for celebration.

  • When we acknowledge achievements in our growth, we are affirm that we have value upon this earth.

My son acknowledged that the loss of his first tooth was a special event and asked me to also make this acknowledgement. The Tooth Fairy reminds us that to acknowledge our achievements is a necessary step in recognizing that we are growing and making progress towards spiritual maturity.

  • To honor that we are making progress towards spiritual maturity, we can create ceremonies and rituals that mark these steps – no matter how small.

The tooth, the pillow and the money are all elements of a “lost tooth” ritual, which our kids love. The Tooth Fairy reminds us that these ceremonies or rituals are in place for a reason. They are public statements that we are growing towards spiritual maturity.

  • The course of our lives is one towards physical, emotional and spiritual maturity.

The loss of my son’s tooth was a sign that he was physically maturing, but it was also an emotional and spiritual step towards maturity. The Tooth Fairy reminds us that even when we stop “growing up,” we are still growing.

  • To be conscious of all the levels of our growth as human beings through acknowledgement, celebration and ceremony, is one way we can develop and deepen our self-esteem.

When we are conscious of the fact that we are continually growing even when we’ve reached our physical maturity, we are able to love and honor ourselves for the progress we are making in this life. The Tooth Fairy reminds us to love ourselves each and every step of the way.

All that from my son’s first loss tooth, his excitement and his unforgettable statement of, “I feel like a completely different person now that I’ve lost my first tooth.” What a blessing my kids are! What a blessing we all are!

About Leta Hamilton:  Leta Hamilton is the author of The Way of the Toddler: The Craziness of Modern Motherhood & the Spiritual Lessons I Learned from My Zen Masters in Diapers. Her radio show, “The Way of the Toddler Hour” is listened to by moms everywhere searching for inner peace even in the midst of poopy diapers and piles of laundry. As a motivational speaker, she speaks to packed audiences about her D-I-A-P-E-R for Life Strategy (because poop happens), how to write your own Mission Statement for Motherhood and how we can reframe our parenting paradigm to learn as much from our kids as they do from us. Leta’s blog is dedicated to sharing with her readers how the innate wisdom and natural spirituality of children can transform our lives.

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