My child losing her tooth got me preparing for death

Image: 123RF/oneinchpunch

I came back from an outing last week to find my child one tooth down. Since the morning before she left for school, she had said that it was wiggly, but I hadn't thought it was that serious.

When I came back in the evening there was a gap where my child's tooth once stood. Her teacher had taken it out.

I just stood there staring at the gap, my mind struggling to make sense of what was happening.

Why was my child growing up so quickly? Why had she not brought back the tooth with her? Don't ask me what for because it's not like I could glue it back on.

The reason I hadn't taken her seriously when she told me about her tooth, I realised, is that I wasn't ready for my baby to lose a tooth. I was caught completely off guard.

I knew it was coming, I know that children will grow into adults, it is the way of life, but I didn't think it would be so soon.

I have been filled with so much emotion since then about the wonder that is raising a child. How it perhaps comes to us as a way to remind us of things that aren't always at the top of your minds like in this instance how life and time are wheels that are always in motion.

I have been thinking perhaps raising children is probably the biggest tool in aiding us to stay mindful.

I don't want to romanticise mothering because it is anything but romantic, it does, however, teach me a lot about life. And seeing as I could not stop thinking about the loss of my child's tooth, here we are, me trying to make sense of time and mortality and you bearing the brunt of it. The human body is built with a certain durability and it will wither, in stages.

There is no amount of preparedness that will stop the wheels from turning. Whether they turn smoothly or with a creak here and there, they will turn. We cannot outrun them.

Just because you aren't worried about getting older does not mean that you aren't actually getting older. Without sounding overly morbid, each day we wake up, we are a step closer to death. Oh! to live in a perishable body.

I am not planning on dying, but I know it will happen. Some people will tell me to stop obsessing about this and stay in the moment. But I find it completely impossible to ignore the fact that I will die one day and any reluctance to deal with it will not make it go away.

So this week the lesson I learnt from raising my daughter was that life will happen to us whether or not we are expectant or mindful. And in the same way so too will death.

And while I was not prepared for my child losing her tooth I have decided to prepare for the day I die, especially in matters than concern her. I had a will drawn up.

In this way I feel so empowered over death, it makes me feel as though I have stared death in the face and squared. Now I can go back to pretending to live in the moment and perhaps fool the mind into believing it.

As a side note, while I was writing this, I got news to say my dad's cousin has passed away. I feel justified in my neurosis.

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