If you know first graders, you know that they are beginning to walk around with loose teeth that dangle in front of you and are ready to fall out (in fact are falling out).
Today I had the pleasure (well, at first a bit squeamish, grossed out, freaked out experience) to pull out little So.R's second baby tooth! She came up to me during lunch and said, "But Ms. Ver-un-neee-kahhhh..... It hurts!!!"
I take a look and see a tooth barely stuck to her gum protruding out of her mouth... and I say, "So.R, do you trust me to take out your tooth?"
"eeeeYessssss," she replies and looks at me, with her blue eyes unsurely sure, chin tilted sheepishly up, and whole head presented to my teeth-pulling-power.
I grab a napkin, grab hold of her tooth, look her in the eye and say, "You ready? I'm counting to three and then I will take it out."
So.R nods yes.
I say, "One----Two---," I pull out the tooth, plop it in her hands, "Three. There you go dear."
So.R gasps at first, looks at her baby tooth, then smiles and runs to show her classmates eating lunch.
We go to the office and make a special packet with the tooth inside. And I congratulate her--for losing her second tooth, and myself for pulling it out like my Dad always use to do when I was a kid.... Not as scary and gross as I thought (Thanks pops for being a good teacher and modeling it--totally ingrained in my memory).
Oh the simple accomplishments that seem so big... like some sort of right of passage :) Losing a tooth... right of passage... being the person to pull the tooth... right of passage :)