This past Saturday you lost your first tooth. It was an event that was received with great excitement.
A few weeks ago when the dentist noticed your bottom tooth was loose, she told you. "It won't be long until the Tooth Fairy pays you a visit."
Your big brown eyes lit up like Christmas. In the weeks that followed, you would proudly wiggle your tooth for anyone willing to watch. By Saturday the tooth had become so loose, it only took Daddy a second to pull it out.
Standing in the kitchen with tooth in hand, you declared Saturday, "the best day of your life."
As you danced around proudly showing off your new jack o' lantern grin, I stood there trying to comprehend the moment.
Has it really been nearly six years?
It seems like just yesterday I noticed that very tooth -- its white pearly tip just peeking through your little pink gum (and causing you a whole lot of pain, in the process). I remember leaving the pediatrician's office and calling your daddy to tell him, "She's getting a tooth!"
Your first tooth.
And now, like so many other parts of your babyhood, you've lost it. It's gone the way of diaper changes and baby baths, chubby nursing cheeks and wobbly first steps. It's one more thing that we tick off the calendar -- another milestone achieved. Another sign that you're a baby no more.
And while part of me mourns the loss of these sweet things, a bigger part of me celebrates the gains you've made.
You've traded in a baby's uncertainty for a young girl's growing confidence.
You've swapped out an infant's clumsiness for a young girl's growing grace.
You're developing your own thoughts and opinions. Your own likes and dislikes. You're starting to create your own hopes and dreams. You're learning new things every single day.
In your 5-year-old world, Saturday was "the best day of your life." And that's how it should be. You should relish each milestone, each accomplishment, each step you take toward adulthood.
But from my perspective, as I watch all that you gain with each passing day, as I imagine your future and all it will hold, I know this is just the beginning.
The best, my child, is yet to come.