My daughter asks me, “When do you think my tooth’ll fall out, daddy?”

“I don’t know babe, maybe … in a week?”

“Feel it, it’th looth,” she begs.

“I’m driving.”

“Tho.”

I’m on a side street. I pull over.

“Yup. It’s getting pretty loose. Maybe it’s not ready to let … go … yet.”

Oh, jeez, where’d that come from? Of course I just gotta explore that now.

“Maybe the tooth’s afraid to come out. She’s still comfortable with her friends, still attached to where it’s nice and warm cause she’s concerned about going out on her own, but she knows that pretty soon she’ll be thrust out into the world! She’s just not quite ready to let go.”

Oh crap, if this kid turns out semi-normal it’ll be nothing short of miraculous.

“But then,” Chloe adds, “the Tooth Fairy will take her to the Tooth Fairy Kingdom where she can go be in the MyTooth pile and play with her old friends and new friends too. And then they can hang out in the Kingdom and take turns playing on the throne. And I’ll get gifts and money!”

Wow. How is it that this kind of thinking is so common to an 8-year-old yet has grown in me to be so jaded, and so foreign?

Life hits. It’s easy to lose trust. Walls are built. It’s a difficult thing to combat.

I think it’s time to review and apply some strategies that Chloe so effortlessly implied:

1. Use your imagination. Not to deny reality or demotivate through constant daydreaming (yup, sharing from experience). But to spur you on by imagining what could be. It might be really awesome … better than you may even be able to imagine.

2. Think positively. The new is just that. It’s the not knowing. Yet it’s often well worth whatever it takes to work through the inevitable change brought about by choosing to let go.

3. Have faith. That you’ll be taken care of. How have you done so far? Even when things are REALLY tough, have you made it through? Are you even stronger? Are you okay right now, today? Trust. (I got dibs on this one!)

4. Quit. Surrender. I think there are times when we can be too persistent, trying to shove that tooth back in there. We might need to set it aside, to make room to let something new sprout and take hold; to nurture; to find its spot.

5. Others benefit. Maybe they need to grow without you. Maybe you’re in the way. Maybe someone else should be blessed in that position. Maybe you’re not the one and accepting that you’re expendable is paralyzing. Accept it anyway.

6. You’ll prosper. Stagnation is safe. Letting go provides room for new doors to open. New opportunities to enter. Maybe that’s money. Maybe it’s gifts. Maybe it’s relationships, knowledge, serving, fun, challenges, a more fulfilling life.

7. Look forward. Learn from, and then let go of, the past.

8. Smile. And even if it’s painful and scary, which at times it is and will be, smile a big, fat, “dig me,” smile. It just might show others that you’re way cool with what you’ve let go of:

Chloe missing teeth

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