The Tooth Fairy

April 12, 2010-Previously pod on Facebook…
The joys of parenting-they just never stop!

Last night,I asked our 8 year-old son, who had just lost another tooth, if he was going to put it out for the Tooth Fairy. He added it to a previous tooth he’d lost in March, and put it under his pillow before bed. As I was getting him ready to sleep, I asked him if he wanted to keep the teeth or let the Tooth Fairy have them, because if he wanted to keep them, he’d have to leave the TF a note to that effect.

He got out his pad and pencil, and knowing this would take a while, I left the room to attend to other things. When I returned, he’d written:

“From Tucker, Dear Tooth Fairy
I’m putting 2 teeth under my pillow because I forgot to put the other one there when I lost it. What is your name?__________________
P.S. I want to keep them.
P.S.S. What is your name?________________________

I asked him “Isn’t the Tooth Fairy’s name Tooth Fairy?”

“Yes, but Riley’s Tooth Fairy is named George, and I want to know what mine is named!”

I asked him if he thought his was a girl or boy,( just so I could eliminate some names that I’d be choosing from). He didn’t know. I told him that since he lived in a family with 6 other females, it was probably a female,( but I didn’t want to rob him of a masculine connection if he had his heart set on another male joining the “virtual family”). He didn’t seem to care one way or another, so I threw out potential names to see what he thought. Finally, he said, “maybe it’s Melinda!” To which I couldn’t help but reply, “you might be right!”

Anyway, my wife got home after he went to bed and just as we were almost settled in for the night, I remembered my conversation with him and the need to put some money under his pillow (yes, the TF has forgotten many a night and “must have been really busy with other kids’ teeth!”. ) I recounted the story to her and we giggled hysterically as we tried on different names, imagining his smile when he discovered that his TF was named something queer like Esmerelda, or Fanny, even trying to come up with a middle name too..when finally it hit my wife- “PAT!” ┬áThat name, of course took me back to Saturday Night Live and that hilarious androgynous character from the 1990’s who one never knew if s/he was male or female!

Perfect! We couldn’t wait to see his reaction!

We were laughing hysterically as we completed his note with the name. I think we had a lot more fun than he did when he read it. It wasn’t the highlight of his morning. I don’t think he really cared. I think it just frustrated him more and he was NOT a happy camper!

The moral of the story? I guess it goes a lot deeper than the Tooth Fairy…
Do we lead our kids to believe in mysterious animals that bring loot for their teeth? Or eggs and candy at Easter? Or lots of presents at Christmas? Do kids grow up with better character, more trust, sense of reality when told the truth? Do we play down the excitement of fabricated stories that we heard when we were kids, or perpetuate the fantasy that we enjoyed as kids?

I don’t have the answer for that, but what I do know is that we should all laugh belly laughs every day if we can. I know for a fact that mine are too few and far between, but when they happen, and I feel the joy of my life and my family and the gems of innocence that our kids bring, it is the best present I can ever receive!
May your days be full of laughter and joy as well!

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