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I remember when I was a kid that the thought of losing my teeth was scary and intimidating.  I remember it being almost tragic to me as a five or six year old.  I remember it being an ordeal that lasted days and days and ultimately culminated in pain and blood and horror.  Funny how memory works.

Our six year old has lost two teeth now, and neither was the horrific and intimidating experience I recall, but she also didn’t have four older siblings who might have had an interest in making it seem worse than it was (just to be able to enjoy the spectacle of their younger brother’s misery).  Her first tooth “just came out” while she was sitting on the couch watching TV (a DVD of the old Incredible Hulk series starring Bill Bixby) and she lost her second tooth in her sleep.  She didn’t swallow it either, she got up to use the restroom in the middle of the night and we heard a knock on our door afterwards saying she had lost her tooth and couldn’t find it (it was in the sheets of her bed).

My daughter’s probably just tougher than I was at her age.  I wouldn’t doubt that a bit, since she only complains of discomfort when it is readily apparent that she is seriously injured (like the time she dislocated her elbow and whimpered) or seriously ill (her complaints usually have been followed within a few hours by significant vomiting and/or high fever).

The most significant aspect of this is likely just a change of perspective.  The things I thought were terrible and scary as a kid (growing “old”, having a job, losing a tooth, etc.) are just another part of life today.  The things I find worrisome today were completely outside my frame of reference then (caring for a family, standing up for right in a world dominated by wrong, etc.).  It’s funny that the things I take for granted today are the things that worried me when I was young and the things I worry about today are the things I took for granted as a kid.

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