the tooth story


When I was little I lost a tooth while we were vacationing at the lake. I don’t remember how the tooth ended up in the water but I do remember my mom and I looking at our murky reflections forlornly and her shaking her head a bit and declaring it gone. Sometime later my dad appeared on the scene, armed with a pair of goggles. He didn’t promise to find my tooth or even declare his intention, but while my brothers and I splashed around the dock, he dove. Over and over and over again. And he found my tooth. It would have been amazing even if there weren’t 8 billion tiny white pebbles on the lake floor.

That story has stuck with me when a lot of other childhood memories faded away. In fact, it is the first thing I think of twenty minutes after bedtime when Caleb and I are searching the house for Jonathan’s “cute whale”. Or when we open the car door at the Fair and ten miniscule Lego pieces land on the asphalt and bounce in different directions. We have yet to come close to the kind of parental heroism that finds a tooth at the bottom of a lake, but one night last week Jon gave us a good try.

While we were s’moring around the fire pit he bit into his hunk of gooey graham cracker and pulled out a tooth. He jumped out of the chair, ran to the bench where we’d left the fixings and tried to spit the tooth into a bowl. I was on my way out the back door when I heard Caleb yelling “flashlight! We need a flashlight!”


Yelling for a flashlight when you’re outside around the fire pit usually only means a) someone is injured, or b) you suspect a wild animal is nearby. So naturally, I didn’t ask questions but I tripped over both dogs and stubbed my toe on the table trying to scramble for a flashlight.

We searched but we never found the tooth. Which means we were not diligent enough to locate in among the grass and twigs, or Jonathan didn’t manage to spit it out of his mouth and actually swallowed it. That prospect made him a little green for a few minutes and then he got over it and ate two more s’mores.

Me, kneeling in the grass and inspecting each blade: “Did I ever tell you about the time—“

Caleb, searching the inside of Jon’s mouth: “Your dad found your tooth under the dock? Yes, many times.”


Other, less toothy, bits of our week:


The last of our t-shirt days. Over the years I’ve come to embrace our Southern weather and even love it.


Clean trampoline. Socks are welcome again.


Fantasy in Lights. It was just cold enough in feel perfectly wintery.


Cookies in mass quantities.

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If there was a prize given for most decorations used on one cookie, Jon would win.


Hot cocoa. Anywhere will do just fine.


Packing boxes. When someone at the boys’ school (who doesn’t know me very well) heard we were moving she said “Oh, but you’re military so you’re used to that.” Erm…. no.


This illustrates how bad I am at packing boxes.


Last day of school party. In which I did not bring enough tissue to get me through.


The art of togetherness. I think we’re mastering it quite nicely.