Milestones for Micah and Zola
Trip Start Jul 29, 2012
25Trip End Aug 01, 2013
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In early February, while getting ready for bed, Micah cried out, "My tooth is loose! My tooth is loose!" It was his first loose tooth, so we all rushed to see it. Sure enough, one of his lower front teeth (central incisor number 25, to be exact) had a little give to it. While I still remember the feeling of having a loose tooth myself – exploring it with my tongue, encouraging it to move more than it was ready to move, reveling in the pain – I couldn't remember how long one might expect to have a loose tooth before it would actually fall out. So, wanting to temper Micah’s expectations, I said, “It may be a few weeks before it comes out.” Shows what I knew. It was out within the week.
We were attending a birthday party on Sunday, February 10 when Micah ran over to Leah and me looking both excited and distraught. He showed us the new gap in his lower toothline, but said he couldn’t find the tooth. How exciting! He had been eating and playing in a sandbox, had noticed the gap in his teeth, and was worried the tooth mouse/fairy deal would be for naught if there were no physical proof of the tooth under his pillow. We assured him that the tooth mouse was very understanding. (I was amusing myself with the thought that whoever wrote the original contract with the tooth mouse would have made provisions for such mishaps, don’t you think?) After snapping a few pictures of Micah’s new smile, we all went back over to the sandbox to try our hands at tooth excavation. To no avail.
That night, when Leah was tucking Micah and Zola into bed, Zola said, “Mom, I’m not so sure I like the idea of a mouse coming into our bedroom at night and crawling around on Micah’s pillow.” You’ve got to appreciate that kind of perspective. Leah replied, “Yeah, Z, I get what you’re saying. But this mouse isn’t a real mouse. It’s a magical mouse that would never hurt a thing.”
Early the next morning, Micah ran up the stairs to our bedroom with a ten peso coin and a note in his hand. The note read, “Felicidades, Micah!” Signed, “El Raton de Dientes”. His one-less-tooth-filled smile was beaming.
Birthdays are a big deal at Micah and Zola’s school. Much of our family’s anticipation had to do with planning what we would bring to school to help them celebrate. It is customary for the birthday kid to bring a cake and a piņata to school, the later containing party favors for the other kids to bring home. The teachers also asked Leah and me to give them details about Zola’s birth, as well as significant events that occurred in each year of Zola’s life, to be used in a birthday ceremony.
Birthday morning came. Zola ran up to our bedroom with a big smile on her face (after she had woken up her grandpa, of course). Leah and I marveled at the passage of time. Our wonderful daughter was now five. Birthday hits: a doll, new bathing suits, puzzles, a leotard, play binoculars made by Micah out of toilet paper rolls, Honey Bunnies, yogurt covered raisins, a ball of yarn, and knitting accoutrements. Z was a happy birthday girl. After dining on Zola’s breakfast of choice – crepes with banana and Nutella – we headed off to school. Zola and Micah carried the piņata together. Leah delivered our handwritten notes about Zola’s life story. The teachers were ready, having already decorated the main outdoor area with festive hangings.
What kid wouldn’t love having the school day be about them? When we picked the kids up after school, Zola ran to meet us, beaming. She shared stories about the day’s festivities on the way home and at dinner that evening. We enjoyed a pleasant dinner atop one of our favorite rooftop terraces in downtown Oaxaca. After dinner, Micah and Zola spread their Spanish-speaking wings a bit by chatting up the chef and one of the waiters while Gary, Leah, and I soaked in the warm dusk. The Oaxacan chocolate cake for desert came with a candle on it, and was on the house.