Everything in Time.

Sage lost his first tooth!

Although he is nearly eight years old, Sage is a boy who doesn't hurry changes. The tooth has been loose for weeks, perhaps months. His adult tooth has even emerged behind the loose tooth, encouraging him to wiggle the baby one a bit. Yes, most kids lose their first tooth between six and seven. But whatever. Sage isn't most kids.



What a wonderful reminder to honor the rhythm of each child. If allowed enough time, each change will come easily when the child is ready. Healthy children will learn to crawl, walk, and talk without our hurrying. Eventually they will sleep through the night. They will sleep alone. Yes, if allowed their own pace they will all wean someday and even learn to read if we get out of their way and allow them their journey.

I think that as adults we get caught up in the experiences of other children and other families and then hold our children to these external expectations. We worry over statistical averages and percentiles. In essence we get hung up on what other kids are doing instead of trusting the journey of our own to go it at their own pace.

For Pete and I this is huge part of the foundation of our parenting and homeschooling choices. We have chosen to trust our children – to trust in their journey. Did I worry that Sage would never sleep through the night? (Okay, sometimes, but we didn't force it upon him before he was ready.) Did I wonder if Lupine would ever spend the night with her grandparents? Or wonder if our kids would nurse forever?  Me – no. Other well-meaning people in our lives – certainly.

I guess all this trusting has me bucking the norm. I won't leave my kids if they melt down. I won't force my almost eight year old to read. I won't wean my three and a half year old until she's ready. These are my (and I believe my kids') right answers. We all know our right answers when we feel them. It's there – in your belly. Your right answers and mine might not look much alike but that's okay too. That is why we are each on the path that we are. And that's why I believe my kids chose me – and yours chose you – as their parent. 

For us? Everything in time. Sage cut his first tooth at 13 months – long after he learned to speak in complete sentences. So learning to joyfully and fluidly read at seven or eight (or nine or…) and losing his first tooth at seven and 3/4? It's his story – not mine. I'm just glad to be watching it all unfold.


29 thoughts on “Everything in Time.

  1. Kim V. says:

    My little Indigo cut her first tooth at 13 months also and she’ll probably loose them on the late side too, if genes has anything to do with it. (I still had a couple baby teeth in highschool and my grandma lost her last baby tooth when she was 20!)

    I really liked that phrase you said “to honor the rhythm of each child” It’s so true; each child is unique and will grow into their own, whole person, if we stand back a little and let them. Great post!

  2. Rachel Wolf says:

    Thank you Kim for sharing. I, too, was a late tooth loser (I think my dentist pulled my last baby tooth at 15 out of impatience. My dad still has one!).

  3. sarah says:

    thank you for your words– as always, your experiences are so relevant and your words are so wise.

    sage looks exuberant and just plain adorable with that missing tooth! good for him! 🙂

  4. Danielle says:

    What a beautiful reminder. They will all do these things in their own time.

    Right now my little babe (at almost 14 months) is holding steady with just one tooth. Though I suspect that a 2nd is on the way.

    You’re right, it is their story. But I’m so very glad that I get to be a part of it.

  5. Melodie says:

    That’s neat Rachel. My daughter lost her first two teeth at 4 and already had the adult ones coming in behind too. Such a reversal! The dentist thought it was the earliest she’d ever seen that happen and my daughter cut her first tooth at 7 months, which of course wasn’t out of the norm. It’s so great seeing how all kids do things at different rates. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Sara B says:

    As a new mother I found trusting my own instincts and trusting my daughter to be quite easy — until a well-meaning relative or friend offered some “constructive” criticism. Then I would second-guess myself and have all these doubts. The thing that helped me eventually overcome this was realizing, as you say, every family and child is different and you just have to do what works for you, and you really can feel when it is working or not. This really helped me to be able to ignore people’s comments when I knew their “advice” really wouldn’t work for us.

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    If you have learned to ignore the well-meaning advice you and your family is on a wonderful journey! When we silence the din of other voices then we can truly check in with out child, our intuition, and ourselves and find out path.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sara.


  8. Jodi Jepson says:

    Hey Rachael, I found you through another blog I was on and they were raving about your baby products! I agree 100% we dont rush either. Christopher learned to read at 10 and he has never stopped. He has the gift of dyslexia, he is an incredible historian! Chance was a late tooth looser just like Sage. The girls have lost lots of teeth and they are 5 and 6. I have been doing some videos on my blog (special needs kids stuff) but if you wanna see the everyday stuff click the side link to our family blog. Hope all is well…we are out of the loop..oh and dont believe everything you hear..ok!
    Love, Jodi

  9. Rachel Wolf says:

    Hi Jodi,
    What a funny way to find your way here! I was forwarded your blog by Uncle Clark a few weeks back. Your kids are all so big! We enjoyed seeing Corey at Christmas at Chriss. Stay in touch. (Oh, and I know better than to believe everything I hear (as do you). 😉 )


  10. Peggy says:

    I join the chorus of “thank you’s” for the beautiful post and important reminder to trust ourselves as parents and to trust our children to go at their own pace & ask for what they need… (and congratulations to Sage on this milestone…)

  11. Brooke says:

    Trusting our kids is something that can be hard, with todays world of hurry, hurry, hurry! I don’t want them to hurry all the time though! I feel like I am enjoying our 3rd’s infant stage so much more because I am not in such a hurry for him to reach that net milestone, whatever that may be.
    I love your honesty and your words ring so true!

  12. Rachel Wolf says:

    So true, Brooke! I was much more present with Lupine as a baby than I felt able to with Sage. I was thrilled and surprised with each transition, rather than awaiting it with eagerness/expectation.


  13. caitlin says:

    Hooray for Sage! I love the pride and excitement on his face! I was late in the tooth department too- I lost my last one senior year of high school! Kind of embarrassing at that point!
    Well said about every kids having their own pace. People thought I was CRAZY for letting my little baby sleep with me at night…and you know what? Now he is 2, sleeps in his own bed voluntarily, and I miss him in my bed like crazy! 🙂 So thankful that I didn’t listen, and that I gave him what he needed.

  14. Kellianne S. says:

    I am a mother who allows her children to wean and learn to read when they are ready….and who’s oldest lost his first tooth beyond age 7. And my middle who is 6 1/2 doesn’t even have a wiggly one yet..to her dismay. I want to say THANK YOU for this post!! So refreshing to know I am not alone….

  15. Mary says:

    Sweet milestone, Sage and Rachel!! Thank you for sharing this post.
    When our child didn’t walk until 18 months (and didn’t crawl first, she scooted) some folks were downright worried. When she needed Mama to go down the slide with her until she was 3, comments were made… When we chose to breastfeed until she knew she was done (after 3), it shocked others. Our decisions have provoked conversations- while sometimes undesired (in that weary new-mama sleep-lacking stage)- I am happy to have perhaps planted a seed of possibility and potential for all… That our child (and each child) could be honored and trusted to know herself (themself) best. And that others are welcome to chose their own path, for their own family.
    It’s just nice to know you are here. Thanks for the sweet reminder.

  16. gardenmama says:

    loosing a first tooth is certainly very exciting, i remember the day clearly with my son. your sentiments here are right on, beautifully written. i hold these beliefs very close to my heart as well. (i did not realize you are a homeschooling family too!)

  17. Shannon says:

    This is a beautifully-worded post…that seems to be your way 🙂 And I agree so much with what you’ve written…however, what I’m really really hoping is that you might share a bit about your tooth fairy? (You alluded to the idea that she may be a book-lover!)

    The children of some friends of ours always find tiny fairy-sized notes from their tooth fairy, and I’ve heard of others who leave behind a sparkly fairy dust trail…

    I imagine the tooth fairy who visits your house must be pretty special too 🙂

    (Congratulations to your sweet boy!)

  18. Rachel Wolf says:

    The tooth fairy was considering leaving a book but it was far too heavy for her. So she opted for a golden coil (a dollar coin) and a crystal. That seemed just right in the magical department. I think shell leave magical coins from all over the world (the other places she visits) and crystals from her journeys as well. As a post script, Sage left her a note the following evening thanking her for the treasures and asking politely if he could have his tooth back. It is very special, he said. She of course obliged.


  19. Shannon says:

    Oh, now see? I knew it would be good 🙂

    I love the coins from her journeys thing…and I’m sure your kids will too.

    How great that Sage wanted his tooth back–and nice of her to agree to it. I would think it’s hard for a kiddo to give up such a prized possession, no matter how cool the crystals! (Odd that I can’t remember how I felt, giving up my own teeth…I guess I just did “what I was supposed to do,” never dreaming that I could actually ask for my tooth back!)

    Anyway…thanks so much for sharing!

  20. Charmaine says:

    My son cut is first tooth at 3.5 months and had 8 by the time he was 6 months old–did this make him any more interested in food?? Nope. So, well put, Rachel, and a good reminder to just step back, take a deep breath and remember to trust your mama intuition.

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