Moonlight streamed in through the window. The shadows of the window sashes formed squares of light on the soft carpet.
The entire house was asleep. Me, my husband, my three-year-old son, my seven-year-old daughter, all snuggled deep in our soft bedcovers and quilts. Our little dog, Indie, slept curled up beside me.
I slowly became aware of a little voice calling me. Is that Jackson? Or Lily?
It was Lily. Unlike her little brother, she hardly ever awoke in the night. Slightly alarmed, I jumped up from my sleep and shuffled down the hallway.
I tiptoed into her bedroom and whispered, “What is it, hon?”
“My tooth is bothering me,” she cried. “I’m afraid I’m going to lose it at school and I don’t want to.” Tears streamed down her cheeks.
Oh boy. Not this again. I silently thought to myself. For every tooth my daughter had lost, there had been an accompanying anxiety attack about losing that tooth at school.
“Let me see it,” I said groggily. She wiggled one of her incisors. It was pretty loose, but not necessarily about to fall out.
“Everything is going to be okay,” I said gently.
“But if it falls out at school then everybody will know!” she cried.
I crawled into bed with Lily and hugged her. “Everything is going to be okay. If you don’t want your tooth to be a big deal, you can ask your teacher not to tell the whole class.”
“But she always tells the class. She has a chart!”
“I can write a note to your teacher to ask her not to tell the whole class.”
“But if I lose my tooth then I have to go to the new nurse and she might not have the little tooth boxes like Nurse Amy used to have!” Lily tearfully explained.
“That’s okay too. I can give you your own little container to keep in your pocket, so if your tooth falls out at school you don’t have to worry. You can just put it in your container. Just like that. You don’t even have to tell your teacher if you don’t want to,” I said.
After thirty minutes, Lily was finally able to calm her nerves and fall asleep again.
Only to be repeated in the morning, before drop off time.