One of Hannah’s top teeth is loose. This is not the first time though. At the end of last year, she discovered the first loose tooth on the bottom. From the moment she found it she didn’t stop wiggling it until she finally let her Daddy pull it out. It is quite a milestone in the life of a child. Not just because she gets a visit from the Tooth Fairy, although that was pretty special. (Not for Luke though. For some reason he thought the idea of a magical fairy, whom we don’t know, coming into our house and looking over them while they sleep, to be pretty scary. He slept with us that night.)
It is a milestone in the life of a child because it shows them, and their parents, that they are growing up. Her smile no longer looks the same because she has a dental window. Hannah is growing up, and for that Jamie and I are thankful, scared, glad and sad. Since the moment that I pulled out that little bottom tooth with a wet washcloth, I have been thinking about how fast things change in our lives. We all have seasons of growth and loss in our lives. Like a tooth that is here for a little while and then it’s gone.
A child’s tooth is a microcosm of our time in this world. We come into the world with excitement and equally with pain. And we also leave this world with pain and excitement. There is lot of good, full, joyful years of life in between all this pain and excitement. We know the pain part well. Life has a lot of that. And the end of life for many of us involves prolonged physical suffering. But excitement?
Yes, excitement. As Christians, we well know that we have an eternal life to look forward to. Our lives after this one will be better than the lives we have now. Just as Hannah will receive new and improved teeth soon, which she is very excited about, so we will one day after we lose this life, gain an even better life and body. This excitement is what the Bible calls “hope.”
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” –Hebrews 6:19
Now, we just need to teach Hannah to take care of those new teeth.