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.