For a tooth.
My daughter’s left central incisor, to be precise; in the space of a few more wobbles, it will be the first to succumb to the Tooth Fairy. (Who now charges upwards of a pound for collection BTW. A pound! In my day etc, etc).
As the mother of an only child this is a new experience for me, but I imagine the departure of a first baby tooth is a milestone for most parents. But this loss signifies more than just a quid from my wallet.
Mark and I heralded the arrival of each and every one of those baby teeth with the zeal of Percy Thrower and his first runner bean shoots.
“Come and feel this!” I’d shout, forefinger jammed between the poor bairn’s drooling jaws. “What do you reckon? Tooth… or bit of biscuit?”
We watched as she went from gummy, gurning toddler to a little girl with a full set of perfect, Haribo-chewing gnashers.
The smile she has now is the same one He knew, the teeth the same ones He helped nurture and clean. But not for much longer. For incisor will follow incisor, canine will follow canine, and before long she’ll have a new set of tombstones which will completely transform her face.
The loss of this incisor signifies that she is growing up. And with tragic, wearying inevitability, He is missing it.