It can be hard letting go… even for a child.
My oldest lost his fourth tooth yesterday. He has been telling us about this loose tooth for a week now. He seemed so excited that it was finally going to fall out. But then, it did.
At first, he ran to tell us and dashed to his room with the tooth – presumably to put it directly under his pillow. After a few moments, however, he came out with it, put it down in front of my husband, and slumped down on the couch. Real tears formed in his eyes. I went over to hug him and asked “What’s wrong?” He shook his head but eventually told me “I’m gonna miss that tooth so much.”
He went on to tell me that he missed all the teeth he had lost so far and was afraid he’d forget them completely now that he didn’t have them anymore. He even spent some time scrolling through my photos to try and find evidence of the time before he lost each tooth.
Letting go is hard.
It’s been quite the season of letting go. Letting go of routines, letting go of interactions, letting go of normal. Just this morning, I was again struck by the magnitude of all that we had missed.⠀
But maybe letting go reminds us of what we really need. So, today I pray these words of Henri Nouwen for all of us having a little trouble letting go…
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to? Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.”
But my son? Well, he’s only seven and the tooth fairy didn’t feel like he needed to let go if he didn’t want to. So, he woke up this morning with four teeth and some $$ under his pillow.
He can work on opening his own clenched fists later!